IC 2118 - The Witch Head Nebula - 180111

The Witch Head Nebula (IC 2118) is an extremely faint reflection nebula at the foot (knee) of the constellation of Orion the Hunter. The nebula has the appearance of a crook-nosed witch staring into her crystal ball of the blue supergiant star Rigel, at the base of Orion. The nebula is officially in the constellation of Eridanus and lies about 900 light-years from Earth.

This image is the average of 35 frames taken with my QHY247C and my Nikon mount Sigma 70-300 mm zoom set to 200 mm. This was my first test of my latest adapter with remote control of both zoom and focus. The edges of the field have a small amount of radial blur, presumably due to the focal plane distance not being exactly right, but I really didn't want to crop this image. After several failed attempts at this difficult target in previous years, I had to go forward with this data.

This was also one of my first extensive attempts to use PixInsight for processing the images. The images were first stacked in DeepSkyStacker prior to editing in PI. Sadly, PI was not able to do much useful with the elongated stars at the edge of the field, so I reverted back to StarTools to do a reasonable job of rounding those stars.

Astrometry Details

Image Center: View full size annotated image.
   Right Ascension: 5h 6m 50.583s (76° 42m 38.751s)
   Declination: -7° 15m 0.207s
Orientation: Up is 182.8 degrees East of North.
Image Size: 6.737° x 4.399° Pixel Scale: 4.046"

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