This spectacular and eerie image of the Horsehead Nebula was recently photographed at Rainwater Observatory in French Camp, Mississippi! It was taken by retired California aerospace engineer, Bill Kennedy, using Rainwater’s powerful 150mm APO Triplet Skywatcher refractor telescope. The total exposure time was 80 minutes using a Hydrogen Alpha filter and our powerful SBIG 6303 camera.
The Horsehead Nebula is one of the most beautiful and recognizable objects in the heavens. It is approximately 1500 light years from Earth with one light year equivalent to nearly six trillion miles! Located just south of the easternmost belt star in Orion, it is part of the much larger Orion molecular cloud complex. The glow originates from hydrogen gas and the dark region is caused mostly by thick dust. It was discovered in 1888 by Williamina Fleming at the Harvard College Observatory. It is one of the eeriest and most beautiful dark nebulae and is often called the “celestial chess piece”.
Rainwater Observatory and Planetarium, an educational outreach ministry of French Camp Academy, has touched the lives of thousands of people throughout the Mid-south, around the country and even some parts of the world for over 30 years. It has become one of the largest public observatories in the southeast and provides a very unique window into the splendor of the heavens that few facilities can offer. We present a variety of different types of programming designed specifically for various academic, civic and faith based organizations.
If you would like to learn more or schedule a group here or have us do a program at your church, school, university or other facility contact Rainwater Observatory at:
662-547-7283 or visit our website at: www.rainwaterobservatory.org.