Enchanted Skies


The Witch Head Nebula (Imaged at 'Upham', NM)

Witch Head Nebula Map of region imaged


Object Information                                            Imaging Details

Santa brought me a Canon 300mm f/4 lens for Christmas. The Witch Head Nebula (IC 2118) was it's first target. The nebula is very faint, and cannot be seen by eye even through a large aperture telescope. IC 2118 is a reflection nebula, hence the blue color. The nebula reflects light from nearby Rigel (in Orion).

It was a truly exception night of transparency (even for Upham in January). The nebula was clearly visible in the subs which made processing very easy.

The image took top honors in the March 2011 Digital Astro Monthly Challenge.

Clicking the above image will bring up a higher resolution image.


Canon 300mm f/4 (used at f/6.3)

Canon T2i
Misc. Optics:
33 x 5 minutes @ iso 800
Camera & lens were piggybacked atop Orion ED80 (which was used for guiding using a ToUCam and Guidedog software)
Images aligned and stacked in Nebulosity. Curves/levels and sharpening with Photoshop CS3.

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Enchanted Skies - Astrophotography by Rich Richins (all images copyright, Rich Richins)