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About to make an assault on the Horsehead

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#126 David Knisely

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 02:13 AM

I tried tackling the horsehead last night with my c11 with a f/6.3 reducer and a UHC/LPR filter from a yellow site. I didn't see the horsehead but I did see what I'm pretty sure was the flame nebula. Unfortunately there also was a lot of clouds so I only got to look for it for a short time :(

 

This is not a great filter for trying for the Horsehead.  Despite its name, the UHC/LPR is a broad-band filter and not a good nebula filter.  The Horsehead responds best to the H-Beta filter, but also will be notably easier to see with a regular narrowband "UHC-like" filter like the Lumicon UHC, DGM NPB, Orion Ultrablock, or Thousand Oaks OIII LP-3 filter.  Clear skies to you.  


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#127 David Knisely

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 01:18 AM

 

I tried tackling the horsehead last night with my c11 with a f/6.3 reducer and a UHC/LPR filter from a yellow site. I didn't see the horsehead but I did see what I'm pretty sure was the flame nebula. Unfortunately there also was a lot of clouds so I only got to look for it for a short time :(

 

This is not a great filter for trying for the Horsehead.  Despite its name, the UHC/LPR is a broad-band filter and not a good nebula filter.  The Horsehead responds best to the H-Beta filter, but also will be notably easier to see with a regular narrowband "UHC-like" filter like the Lumicon UHC, DGM NPB, Orion Ultrablock, or Thousand Oaks OIII LP-3 filter.  Clear skies to you.  

 

 

Actually, that should be the Thousand Oaks Narrowband LP-2 filter, as the Horsehead is invisible in the OIII.  Clear skies to you.


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#128 JimV

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 12:02 AM

I was studying the Horsehead last night.

I have a 17.5" f/4.4, and have found exit pupils from 4.5mm to 5.5mm work, with H Beta filter of course.

I typically use a 25mm Plossl.  TV 25mm, Parks GS5 25mm (eye placement a little difficult), the older higher quality green coating Orion Sirius 25mm Plossl, they all work.  I've used the TV 20mm, and the excellent GSO 20mm Plossls.  I think the TV 25mm Plossl has best contrast with my f/ratio.  You want a narrow field eyepiece to block scatter from Zeta Orionis, and a simple design for high contrast.

 

Although I haven't tried a simple MgFl eyepiece, it may be that full multi-coatings are needed, since 486nm is far enough from green to matter.

 


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#129 CAAD9

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 07:27 AM

I saw it first go a couple of nights ago.  Location was rural but not super dark.  We did wait for Orion to start setting away from our city.  Seeing and transparency however, we all agreed were very good. Particularly for a summer night.  The gear was a skywatcher 14" goto dob using 24mm Panoptic (69x & 5.16mm exit pupil & 0.9* tfov) and UHC filter.  

 

The edges of the dark nebula were not clear cut like in photos, but the UHC showed the background curtain of luminous gas with a dark fuzzy shape in front that sort of resembled the rook chess piece.

 

We experimented with higher magnification and higher exit pupils but these also meant wider field eyepieces which always included Zeta Orionis in the view. None of these proved as effective in bringing out the dark patch.  So I can't say if the different exit pupils or magnifications were less effective or if it was the presence of such a bright star in the field of view that caused the problem. 

 

I then decided to let my dark adaptation take one for the team and jotted down the stars visible in the eyepiece to compare to photographs of the area.  We were looking at the right thing!   :waytogo:

 

Very satisfying to see such an iconic object with ones own eyes!


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#130 JerryOrr

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 02:18 PM

After trying numerous times, over the last couple of years, I finally detected B33 with my 120mm refractor last night. I wasn't even going to try for it last night because the sky didn't really seem all that dark.  I panned over to check the Flame Nebula, and it was very bright and detailed.  I then dropped down to see if I could detect IC434 and it was readily apparent with AV, so I parked my AV sweet spot on B33's location and started observing. After a few minutes I started getting glimpses/suggestions of a dark thumb like projection into IC434, at the indicated position. Several other such glimpses over the next hour or so confirmed it for me.

 

What I was able to discern of B33 with the 120mm refractor was similar to what I had previously observed through my 250mm reflector, just much, much dimmer.  I wonder why? Ha Ha


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#131 AstroChampion

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 08:15 AM

Would Meade's 911B filter help me at all?

#132 ratnamaravind

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 06:47 PM

I saw the horsehead clearly from the Pinnacles last December from my 11" Royce.

 

The key as I found out dark skies, 5mm exit pupil, a moderate field of view that is not too wide (I used a TeleVue 26 plossl), dew control, a Lumicon H-beta filter and about 20 minutes of staring at the field almost non stop.

 

Most people who used a wider angle eyepiece found the field to be washed out by zeta orionis. Secondly if you can't see the flame, you won't see the horsehead.

 

The notch slowly becomes visible then fades in and out close to the point where IC434 starts to dim. Most people expect it to be larger than it really is.


Edited by ratnamaravind, 07 April 2017 - 06:47 PM.


#133 bobowen

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 12:10 AM

Here is my attempt of horse head with some light pollution and no filters. CGEM 11 and ATIK Infinity Color camera.

horsehead 8

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#134 hakann

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 03:33 PM

I had horsehead up several stimes at LaPalma at 2.000 meter in December at SQM-21.91 at the best, but seeing was not great.
Telescops was Spacewalk 16” and 20” Dobson whit both Ethos EP and the Nikon HW 17/14 and 12.5/10.
I used Astronomiks H-beta filter.
I has not seen this object in Sweden whit 18” Newton at a sky around 21.3. ( Bortel 2 and 3 )
LaPalma ( Roque ) is at Bortel 2.

I saw the ’bulk’ easy but not the ’head’.

When you guys describe this object visually do you mean bulk or can you see the ’head’ to ?

Edited by hakann, 04 February 2018 - 05:09 PM.

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#135 Spartinix

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 01:25 PM

Last night I was well adapted. I live in a 'dark' geographic area but local streetlights 150ft away disrupt my dark adaptation now and then. The sky was black though. The winter Milky Way not as impressive as in October-November here but still.

With the 35mm at 70x in the 20", unfiltered and Baader Moon and skyglow filter, I first had a look at the Flame and it was pretty detailed. When nudging the scope away from it and the bright starlight it popped into view, the 'nose' going to the left and down. But it was not spectacular. It looked eerie and intriguing though and as others experienced, it was bigger than I expected. I should assume my new location later this year here and an H-beta filter would make it perfect.



#136 Pcbessa

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 03:34 PM

Been observing the Horsehead with my 10", with a UHC Astronomics filter (because it allows h alpha pass, which is good for the HH)

From my home spot Bortle 4, I need a good dark night, so that the Flame nebula is seen brightly, with detail, and IC434 is seen as very dim brightness of one half of the eyepiece view (a 25mm Plossl for 48x). The horsesehead was barely seen as a darkening in IC434 edge.

But from a Bortle 2, just 40min drive, it's a completely different matter. IC434 is more easily seen albeit still faint, and the Horsehead is now a quite easily seen dark notch in the site that is supposed to be. If I move the scope the dark nebula becomes apparent. Still I could not distinguish a horse head shape.

#137 antariksha

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 01:00 PM

I have been anxious to see Horsehead in my 18". No luck. I have tried in varied weather conditions too.

Last year, I tried with 18" and 32mm plossl with H beta Lumicon. Could not see the structure well.

This year, I have new eyepiece Televue 21mm Ethos and no luck even now.

Do not know, what is missing.



#138 Pcbessa

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 01:33 AM

How dark is your sky and how high is Orion in the sky? These factors matter most

I only saw the horsehead albeit faintly in my 10" with a very dark Bortle 2 sky, cold crispy clear weather. If Orion is higher, that surely helps.

#139 antariksha

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 01:45 AM

Do not know bortle scale. But, generally the overhead portion and roughly 10 deg around, I can view 5.1 Mag stars. Milky way limbs are seen reasonably ok even at roughly 30 deg off Zenith.

And yes, I have attempted HH when Orion was right overhead. No luck....



#140 CarrieTN

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 04:25 PM

what has been the best magnification?



#141 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 02:06 PM

what has been the best magnification?

Using a high quality, moderate or small field of view eyepiece such as a Plössl or an ortho, which will minimize glare coming from Alnitak, that produces a 5mm or so exit pupil seems to work well for detecting B33.

Dave Mitsky


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#142 Napp

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 02:35 PM

Take out a sky atlas and study the star pattern immediately around the Horsehead.  You need to be able to recognize the pattern so you can locate it.  Then try to see the horsehead.  My first time seeing it was through a friend's 20 inch DOB.  He centered the nebula and let me look.  I didn't see it.  It is so dim (dark against a slightly less dark background) that it took a while for my eye and brain to discern it.  It's also bigger than I expected.  Now I have a 16 inch DOB and showed it to about a half dozen folks at the Winter Star Party.  You need a dark transparent sky.  I first look for the star pattern around the nebula.  I locate the star pattern in the eyepiece with Alnitak excluded. Then I look for the nebula.  If you just look for the nebula I suspect you will have a very hard time finding it.



#143 Asbytec

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:33 AM

The only time I've seen it, I was not even looking for it having given up years ago. This apparently rare night, IC 434 was glimpsed sweeping through the area on the way to Sigma Orionis. It was one of those now or never moments. Still, it took a long hard look just to get a hint of where it might be (that's how difficult it still is) among the field stars. Unfiltered in a green zone at 3mm exit pupil (IIRC) through an 8" reflector.

Napp is right, only I did the reverse. I noted the field stars where I "thought" I must be seeing where it is (as opposed to seeing it clearly). Then compared my notes to images and found it was right there. There are 4 kind of faint stars in a sort of a "Z" asterism that brackets the Horsehead. In the image below, one of them is right off the nose, one further out, and two over top of the head. I got no sense of it's size or any real shape, just an uncertain soft low contrast something there.

https://images.app.g...yUspJivcpRGQjy9

Edited by Asbytec, 18 September 2019 - 09:49 AM.

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#144 hakann

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 07:48 AM

I never seen the horse head from Sweden, but I use to observe in LaPalma each year in December and last year I used a 25" Dobson and sky was pretty dark at SQM 21.7 at Athos ( 900 meter on west side ) but seeing was terrible and once one learn to see it and find it, it is rather easy, but it need aperture or a good sky.
My guess whit a good sky and experience one see it rather easy in smaller optic's to.
Lower magX works fine as more easy to see it, then one can jack it up.
I seen people make drawings like from a photo whit the head etc in smaller optic's, and say in the 25" I easy saw the 'bulk', but not something more really.
I was observing at OSP this year in Ed's 'Elvira' ( 24" ) and he had the night vision, but we had not the horse head up, but other objects, and I asked Ed how the horse head look like, and he said it really pop up ! ;-)
Me & night vision, well cool, but not something for me but on bigger objects contour really coming up more.



#145 Asbytec

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 09:05 AM

"My guess whit a good sky and experience one see it rather easy in smaller optic's to."

Seeing it, maybe, but it's certainly not easy. Seeing the shape of the head was beyond me, just a slightly fainter, indistinct, barely discernible patch "detected" at times. To my mind, it's better described as "seeing where it is" as opposed to actually seeing it through modest apertures. We know it's there and where it is, but that's about it. IMO on an exceptional and rare night. Otherwise, forget it.

#146 Napp

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 10:42 AM

I agree with Norme above.  The Horsehead is never easy.  It takes some effort to find and tease it out.  Yes it gets easier the more you have observed it because you learn the star pattern around it.  And sky conditions have to be really good.  It is such a dim, low contrast object beginners have to be careful.  It is all too easy to use “averted imagination”.  wink.gif


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#147 CarrieTN

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 11:17 AM

You people amaze me and we wonder if we will ever know the sky as you do!  We didn’t have family or friends who were into observing the skies, but started after retiring. Because of this, we bought a GOTO and continue to learn the skies. Would be interested how and when you all began.  We love it, just behind most of you!
 



#148 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 01:49 PM

Before I called it quits on the morning of September 28th at Cherry Springs State Park, I was able to see a vague hint of the Horsehead Nebula through my H-beta filtered 10" f/4.7 Sky-Watcher Collapsible Dob and a 17.3mm Tele Vue Delos (3.7mm exit pupil), the longest 1.25" eyepiece that I had with me.  IC 434 was definitely visible but the Horsehead was detected only with a concerted effort.



#149 Pcbessa

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 05:10 PM

There are other similar dark nebula visible on top of faint emission nebula.

I can think of: Fingers of Creation (on M16) and the Elephant Trunk, both rather easy to see in my 10" on a dark night. But only with dark skies.

 

More subtle dark nebula are seen in the Heart nebula, on Seagull nebula, and probably a few more that I can't remember now.

 

Much easier are the dark nebula appearing in front of IC1318 (the Sadr nebula), on the North America/Pelican, on Rosette, as well as on Flame Nebula, which is near the Horsehead. These ones are easily seen for me.

 

The Horsehead must be the hardest dark nebula that I ever observed intentionally. I spotted it with some difficulty (IC434 is quite visible but the dark blotch is diffuse and low contrast).

 

But there are dark nebula which are harder to detect! I failed to see the dark nebulas on the Cone Nebula and on the Cave Nebula, which must be more difficult to see.

 

I also can't think of other dark nebula on faint emission nebula that I have seen...


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