IC 434 - The Horsehead Nebula and surroundings
Orion is one of the prominent winter star constellations, and contains a host of beautiful nebulae. Next to Alnitak, the easternmost star of the Orion belt, is a big nebula called IC 434. In the middle of the nebula there is a dark dust cloud called the Horsehead Nebula for obvious reasons. The column of dust is roughly 3.5 light years in length.
IC 434 is fairly low in the Finnish winter sky, and clear weather has been sparse, which means it took me three months to collect all the material for this photo. The photo consists of two separate images which have been combined to produce a wider view. Both frames were exposed for 6 hours, meaning the total exposure time is 12 hours with Astrodon 5 nm narrowband filters (H-alpha, S-II and O-III), Sky-Watcher Esprit 100ED and Atik 460EX CCD.