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Object Rigel and the Witch Head Nebula

Rigel (Beta Orionis) is the brightest star in the constellation Orion, located 777 light years away from the Sun. Rigel is an interesting double star, its companion being only magnitude 6.8, and separated from its bright primary by 9.5 arcseconds. It is located in the southwest corner, the right knee of Orion. Rigel A has a visual magnitude of 0.2, and an absolute magnitude of -6.7.

IC 2118 (also known as Witch Head Nebula due to its shape), is believed to be an ancient supernova remnant or gas cloud illuminated by nearby supergiant Rigel in Orion. It lies in the Eridanus constellation, about 1000 light-years from Earth. The nature of the dust particles, reflecting blue light better than red, is a factor in giving the Witch Head its blue color.

Scope Canon 200mm f/2.8L at f/3.5
Camera Canon 40D
Mount Losmandy G11
Filters none
Guiding ST2000xcm
Exposure Info 4 hours total exposure time (48 x 5min) at iso 800
Date December 20, 2007
Copyright Photo copyright Thomas Kerns, Beluga Lake Observatory