Witch Head Nebula - Adam Lundie - Eatons Hill Observatory

Witch Head Nebula

Witch Head Nebula thumbnail
Witch Head Nebula
IC 2118 (also known as Witch Head Nebula due to its shape) is an extremely faint reflection nebula believed to be an ancient supernova remnant or gas cloud illuminated by nearby supergiant star Rigel in the constellation of Orion.
Source: Wikipedia

I knew this would be a very difficult target from a city location, but 29 hours of image integration time brought out the nebula from the noise. Unfortunately the bright nearby star Rigel played havoc with internal reflections in my equipment. Most of the time processing this image was to try to remove the reflections.

Image: 2 panel mosaic comprising

  • 91x 600s CLS CCD (light pollution filter)
  • 54x 300s Red
  • 62x 300s Green
  • 51x 300s Blue

Total integration 29 hours 5 minutes.


  • Skywatcher Black Diamond 80ED
  • Skywatcher EQ8 Pro mount
  • QSI 683-ws8 Camera @ -15°C
  • Astronomik CLS CCD, Deep Sky RGB filters
  • Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 Autoguider
  • Innovations Foresight On Axis Guider
  • Starlight Instruments Focus Boss II


  • Orange zone in Brisbane, Australia. (Bortle 7)
  • Exposed for 18 cloudy & humid nights between 12-Nov-2018 and 13-Feb-2019


  • Planning & camera alignment with Aladin 10
  • Captured with TheSkyX Professional
  • Guiding with PHD2
  • FocusLock live focusing
  • PixInsight: calibrate, align, stack, dynamic background extraction, deconvolution, denoise, curves, histogram, channel combination, background neutralization, crop.
  • Photoshop CC: Masked selective color adjustments