IC434 ‘Horsehead Nebula’ and NGC2024 ‘Flame Nebula’

By Anton Winter

This is the first time I’ve really been able to image the IC434 ‘Horsehead Nebula’ and NGC2024 ‘Flame Nebula’ since modifying my Canon 550D a month or so ago. A lot more can be done with this; (much) more data captured, better dark frames, create and use flat frames etc but as an amateur astrophotographer who has only been imaging for 7 months I’m really quite proud of the way this has turned out.

Alnitak is the star seen above the Flame Nebula with the reflection nebula NGC2023 below and to the left of the dark Horsehead dust cloud.

Image Details: Captured from my suburban Sydney backyard on the 30th December 2013 and made up of 1.5 hours of lights and 30 mins of dark frames for noise reduction. The sub-exposures are made up of the following


  • 12 x 5 minute
  • 3 x 10 minute

Darks: 6 x 5 minutes

  • Imaging Camera: Modified Canon 550D with an Astronomik CLS Clip In filter & Orion Field Flattener.
  • Imaging Scope: Orion ED80T Carbon Fibre
  • Guide Scope: Orion 80mm
  • Guide Camera: Orion Starshoot Autoguider
  • Mount: HEQ5 Pro GOTO
  • Guiding: PHD
  • Image capture: Nebulosity3
  • Stacking and pre-processing: PixInsight
  • Minor curve adjustments: Aperture3