IC 2118 – The Witch Head Nebula in Orion

IC 2118 - Witch Head Nebula
IC 2118 - Witch Head Nebula
Above: IC 2118 – The Witchead Nebula – Imaged Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014
 18 subs, 5 Minutes Each totaling 1
Hours 30 Minutes

Scope: Explore Scientific ED80 with WO Flat III 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro II and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: Orion Mini 50mm
Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Stock)
ISO: 1600
Exposure: 1 hour 30 Minutes (18 x 300s)
Processing Software: Calibration and Stacking in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels/Curves/Enhancements in Photoshop CC
Support Files: 9 darks

Can you see the witches head? I can! I absolutely love reflection nebulas, and tend to put more time into them than other objects (they ususally need it!)  I was only able to grab (18) 5 minute frames on this object, I think another hour or two would really help.

This is a very heavy crop, framed up to show the “Witch Head”.  IC 2118 is believed to be an ancient supernova or gas cloud illuminated by nearby supergiant star Rigel in Orion. It’s definatly a “winter” object, and I hope I can squeeze more time in before Orion dissapears for a year.

Even though I have recently purchased a used Orion F4 Astrograph, I have been using my trusty old ES ED80 through the winter.  I will need some time to get used to the new scope and make adjustments, something I am not willing to do when it is -15 outside!

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