The Witch Head Nebula (IC2118)

Field centered on R.A. 05h 05m & DEC -07 15'

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble -- maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. This suggestively shaped reflection nebula on the lower left is associated with the bright star Rigel, to its right, in the constellation Orion. More formally known as IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula glows primarily by light reflected from Rigel. Fine dust in the nebula reflects the light. Pictured above, the blue color of the Witch Head Nebula and of the dust surrounding Rigel is caused not only by Rigel's blue color but because the dust grains reflect blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earth's daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in Earth's atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. Rigel, the Witch Head Nebula, and gas and dust that surrounds them lie about 800 light-years away (text adapted from APOD). Click here for a larger version framed in a "poster style".


Pentax 67 lens SMCP 300 mm ED(IF) @ f4 + Paramount ME FLI Proline 16803, binning 1x1, T=-30°C Ha (180m) L (150m) R (40m) G (40m) B (40m) Baader LRGB - AD Ha

Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia





All of the photographs and text on these pages are copyrighted by Marco Lorenzi. They may not be reproduced, published, copied or transmitted in any form, including electronically on the Internet or World Wide Web, without written permission of the author.