Jasem Mutlaq Captures Amazing Image of Horsehead Nebula

Horsehead Nebula By Jasem Mutlaq

Jasem Mutlaq captured this image above of the Horsehead Nebula on the rooftop of his house in AlSabahiya, Kuwait. Horsehead Nebula is located approximately 1,500 light years from Earth in the constellation Orion. The image capture process took three nights and over 6 hours of total exposure time using a small refractor telescope along with a CCD camera cooled to 10 degrees below zero.

In order to produce a color image, astronomers usually capture an image in several filters and combine the filters to produce an RGB (Red-Geen-Blue) composite. The photo is a composite of images taken with three filters: Hydrogen, Sulfur, and Oxygen. Each filter only passes a narrow band of the light spectrum to reach the camera detector. Red represents hydrogen, which constitutes most of the nebula, the green color of the sulfur, and blue to oxygen. But these colors are arbitrary assigned and hence most deep sky objects photos are considered as false color images. This particular color assignment is however known as the Hubble Template because the Hubble Space Telescope uses the same color scheme to color its photos.

The Horsehead Nebula is also called Barnard 33 in emission nebula IC 434 and is part of a large, dark molecular cloud. It was first spotted in 1888 by Scottish astronomer Williamina Fleming at the Harvard College Observatory, who imaged the nebula using a telescope and photographic plates.

Mutlaq has a degree in computer engineering with a minor in Astronomy. He developed INDI and Ekos, key technologies for control and automation of astronomical instrumentation and astrophotography. INDI is deployed in several professional observatories world wide and is being used by thousands of users to control their equipment. He is a member of Kuwait Science Club Astronomy And Space Sciences. Below you’ll see some of his amazing images.


A 30 minutes exposure in HA-RGB of NGC6992 in AlSalmy, Kuwait. Captured with Ekos & INDI, and processed with PixInsight. 100% Linux astrophotography!


SH2 155 180 minutes H,SII,OIII from heavily light polluted Sabahiya, Kuwait. Still not the result I want, will have to go to the desert next time to escape the horrendous light pollution.

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