Object: The Witch Head Nebula - IC2118 in Eridanus
Exposure: Composite of three 40-minute exposures.
Processing: Negatives scanned at 3048dpi with a UMAX Powerlook 3000 scanner, blended in Picture Window Pro 2.5 and enhanced in Adobe Photoshop 4.0
Telescope: TeleVue 85mm f/7 APO refractor @ f/5.6
Mount: Losmandy G11
Guiding: SBIG ST-4
Film: gas-hypered 35mm Kodak Ektapress PJ400
Location: Tierra del Sol, California
Comments: One of the faintest nebulas in the northern sky to photograph, the Witch Head nebula is one of the few objects that actually resembles its given name. The smiling face of the "Witch" can easily be seen in the image. The nebula glows by the light of Rigel, the second brightest star in Orion. Rigel is located just off the right edge of the image thus is not visible. To record its extremely faint light, an astrophotographer must have a very clear, dark, transparent sky that is free from dust, haze and light pollution. This was the photographer's fourth attempt in 5 years at photographing this nebula. The past three were unsuccessful because of poor weather and/or transparency. The 13.4 to 15.8 magnitude galaxies NGC1752, MCG-1-13-49 and MCG-1-13-51 can be seen in the far upper left corner of the image.
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© Chris Cook 2000