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Behind the Scenes Photographing the Horsehead Nebula

Astrophotography has always fascinated me, as the thought of capturing objects that are such unfathomable distances from Earth just blows my mind. This great video goes behind the scenes to show you the process of shooting one of the most well-known objects in the night sky and the sort of technique and effort that goes into producing a memorable image. 

Coming to you from Trevor Jones of Astro Backyard, this fascinating video shows you his process of shooting the Horsehead Nebula. The Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33), so named for the shape it resembles, is one of the most recognizable objects in the night sky. Located south of Alnitak, the most eastern star in Orion's Belt, it belongs to the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. It sits about 1,375 light-years from Earth (a little over 8 quadrillion miles or about 13 quadrillion kilometers), is about 3.5 light-years in radius, and was first noted by the Scottish astronomer Williamina Fleming in 1888. It is so far that the light we see from it now originated from the nebula in the early Middle Ages. The silhouette of a horse's head is caused by dense amounts of dust blocking starlight. Beyond the feat of capturing an image of such a distant object, it makes for a beautiful photo. Check out the video above to see Jones in action.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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