Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors
Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti
IC 4592 - Blue Horsehead Nebula
The Blue Horsehead Nebula (IC 4592) is a faint reflection nebula of about 40 light-years across, located some 420 light-years away from Earth in the southern constellation of Scorpius, near the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. The nebula, which is made up of small interstellar dust particles, is illuminated by the star at the horse's "eye" -Nu Scorpii (Jabbah). This image also shows a second reflection nebula, IC 4601 at the horses "ear". The entire area is part of a large molecular cloud in Scorpius and Ophiuchus, which is a stellar nursery.
Despite its colorful beauty, IC 4592 is not commonly photographed. This is probably due to its close proximity to the even more colorful Rho Ophiuchi nebula. As it happens, IC 4592 is part of the Rho Ophiuchi complex.
North is down in the above image.
Previous Attempt Below
Although photographed in July, this object really needs to be photographed during the early morning hours of March! In July the Blue Horsehead transits just about the time astronomical twilight ends...about 10pm EDT. This doesn't give very much time to capture enough photons as this faint object rapidly sinks into murkier skies near the horizon at 40 degrees north latitude.
Astrophotography - Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors