Best of AOP - Diffuse Nebulae

IC 2118: The Witchhead Nebula

"Double, double toil and trouble..." Alas, had MacBeth seen this nebula in the sky his portentous future would have been as obvious to him as it was to the witches that begin Shakespeare's play. Not unlike the foul vapors that curl from the witches cauldron, IC2118 wafts through space at a nearby 1000 light years away. The star Rigel, Orion's luminous limb, lights up this nebula blue both by its own color and scattered light in the dust of this nebula. Hints of red also permeate the field showing that some of the gas is excited by the starlight. The glow of light towards the bottom of the field is an artifact caused by the scattered light of Cursa, a seemingly appropriate name for a star near the "WitchHead" nebula.(Actually, from the Arabic Cursa is related to a footstool of Orion.)

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Last Updated: 07-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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Equipment

76mm Televue (with TeleVue field flattener)

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = RGB (synthetic) binned 1x1

Red = 45 minutes binned 1x1

Green = 45 minutes binned 1x1

Blue = 45 minutes binned 1x1

Minimum credit line: Fred Calvert/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF