The Talkin Horse

B33, NGC 2023, IC 434
B33, NGC 2023, IC 434


The evening of December 4th (morning of the 5th) was a beautiful night at one of my favorite spots 8 miles from my home on the road to Haleakala National Park. Very clear & very dark. I am finishing up my Planetary Nebula project with Astronomical League and at midnight decided to take a break & try for the Horsehead Nebula again while I was totally dark adapted. Last year I was elated to locate it from my driveway but didn’t sketch it at the time. This year I hoped from a darker location it would be even better, but I decided to just look and not get my hopes up.

After enjoying views of the Flame Nebula I placed Alnitak out of my field of view to the north. Using my 27mm & Narrow Pass Band filter I then placed NGC 2023 to the north inside my view and looked for the 2 – 10th & 13th magnitude guide stars to follow into the Horsehead.
I could see a dim dark patch with averted vision, hood over my head and an eyepatch on the opposite eye. After a short time I could make out the thumbprint of the head with some brightness around the rim and with longer observation a notch appeared to the NW. Some tiny stars also present themselves around the head as well as a linear brightness running N/S through IC 434. I then changed to a 20mm with h-beta filter and more light and dark details of IC 434 appeared, though overall it appeared darker. I got to work sketching & writing up details.

As I was finishing my sketch I heard a “whinnying” sound nearby. I froze because it sounded close and I was all alone. After a moment I realized its an app my daughter has on my iPad that makes horse sounds periodically. It just happened to do so while I was observing the “Horse”! I giggled and ended the night there. What could top that!

B33, IC 434, NGC 2023
Dark Nebula, Emission Nebula, Reflection Nebula
Haleakala Highway 6,000 ft el, Maui, Hawaii
12/5/13 12:00pm, 10:00 UTC
12.5” Portaball, h-Beta & NPB filters, 20mm 76x
Charcoal pencil, charcoal with brush technique, white paper
Inverted with Photoscape software

Cindy (Thia) Krach
Haleakala Amateur Astronomers

The Trifid Nebula

Messier 20
Messier 20

Object: 20 Trifid Nebula
Location: Mt. Nerone
Date 3rd Aug 2013
Pencil on white paper

This nebula is quite low at my latitude and thus is always submerged in the light pollution halo from cities in the south. This makes it a quite difficult object without a nebula filter. I have obtained the best results with an UHC-S filter. I also tried with an OIII filters which gives outstanding constrast on Lagoon Nebula, which is just nearby, but it is not the best for the trifid.

Regards, Immagine in linea 1


NGC 6520 and Barnard 86

NGC 6520 and Barnard 86
NGC 6520 and Barnard 86

Hi, this sketch of open cluster barnard 86 of my last observation. It is a wonderful object, we can enjoy this jewel in the night sky. That day I could enjoy a very stable sky very definition, hitting that day to draw this magnificent object. Undoubtedly one of my favorite dark nebulae. Do not fail to escape this object in your upcoming observations.
regards and good heavens.

Object name: NGC 6520 / Barnard 86
Object type: Open cluster & dark nebula
Location: Bonilla cuenca ( spain )
Date: 5 July 2013
Media: graphite pencil,processed and inverted gimp 2.8
Optical equipment: Dobsonian telescope 10″ F/5 Meade lightbridge , eye piece Explore scientific 18mm 82°
Magnification 70x True field 1,1°

Sky conditions: Moderate windnelm Nelm 5,9 Temperature 23,4°C relative humidity 40% Borthle scale 3/9 web site

Alnitak Nebula Complex

B33 - Horsehead Nebula
NGC 2024 (Flame Nebula), IC 434, B33 (Horsehead Nebula), IC 435, NGC 2023


In attachment you can find sketch of nebulas complex in Orion around
Alnitak – NGC 2024 (Flame Nebula), IC434 and B33 (Horsehead Nebula),
IC435, NGC 2023

Short description:

Object Name NGC 2024 (Flame Nebula), IC434 and B33
(Horsehead Nebula), IC435, NGC 2023
Object Type emission nebulas and dark nebula (Barnard 33)
Location Budy Dłutowskie – small village in central Poland
Date 04.03.2013
Media graphite pencil, white paper, color invert
Telescope Columbus 320UL (320/1384 Newtonian) +
Orion Q70 26mm + TS H-Beta 2”’
Seeing 2/5 (good)
Transparency 2/5 (good)
NELM 5,5 mag

I’ve heard that is possible to observe B33 under medium sky
condtitions (5-6mag) using 12” or bigger scope and H-Beta filter and
I’ve wondered is it true… In 2012 I bought 2” TS B-Beta filter and
after some months of really bad weather in Poland I tried it three
days ago.

When you looking thru the eyepiece you can see Alnitak and misty
shadow of flame nebula. All views using H-beta filter are really dark
so you need few minutes for eye adaptation and you need also to cut
off from all external light sources (using some towel on head or
something like that 🙂 ).
After this adaptation really faint fog of IC434 will appear and in the
middle you can observe small black roundy shaped place in this nebula
– this is the shape of B33.
You won’t observe horsehead shape in 12-16” telescope probably even
in extremely good sky conditions. To see horeheadshape you need 18”
or bigger scope and H-Beta filter.

But its worth to try to observe it. It’s a challenge which can give
you knowledge how you can “detect” and observe really faint objects.

Clear Sky

Trifid from Roque de los Muchachos

Messier 20
Messier 20

Object Name: M20, Trifid Nebula
Object Type: Galactic Nebula (emission, reflection and dark components)
Obeservation Location: Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma
Date: 2. June 2011
Media: Chalk pencil on black paper
Observer: Christian Rausch
Telescope: 12inch/F5 Dobson (Hofheim Instruments)

– SQML = 21,7 mag/arcsec*2, seeing good, Temp. +14C, dry
– V=114x (Nagler 13mm)

The Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, is one of the best places to observe the night sky and main base of the European Northern Observatory.

It took me quite some time to get the sketch, I’ve never seen so much detail within this object before. The sky at the app. 2400m high volcano is amazing, in a few weeks I’ll return there with 2 friends.

This time we’ll also have a 20 inch telescope….

Best Regards

M20 – The Trifid Nebula

Messier 20
Messier 20

M20 (BN/DN in Sgr)
Location : Mt. Bo-Hyun, South Korea (1,100M)
Date : May/27/2012
Media : Black paper, White Pastel / Conte
Equipment : Discovery 15″ Dob, Pentax XL 14mm

Hi. ASOD and everyone.

Last May, the latitude of the M20 is enough than I think. So I observe the Trifid nebula. The most distinctive appearance is the asymmetric three-pronged dark lane and the two fuzzy star located in the middle of the nebula.


조 강 욱 / Kang Uk, Cho

Marathon M24

Messier 24 and Environment
Messier 24 and Environment


I made a marathon sketch in the past month; I drew the M24 and the environment. It was very hard work, but it is also interesting. In the drawing are visible these objects: M24 star-cloud, NGC6603 the popular open cluster in M24, M18 open cluster, M17 Omega nebula, NGC6561 diffuse nebula, Ic1283 diffuse nebula, NGC6589 open cluster, Sharpless-35 diffuse nebula and Barnard 92-93 dark nebulae. My next target of the Scutum star-cloud… 🙂

Observation time: 2012 July-August (a lot of nights)
Equipment used: 10X50 binoculars
Field of view: 6° (360′)
Location: Nagyvarsány/Hungary
Observer: Viktor Cseh

Check my blog:

All the best, and clear skies!


NGC 6520 and Barnard 86

NGC 6520 and Barnard 86
NGC 6520 and Barnard 86

The observation has been made through a 20” dobson Obsession, at Tivoli lodge, Kalahari desert, altitude 1535m, Namibia, on june 2012.
Eyepieces used are Ethos 21mm and 13mm without filters; target was at 45° height.
Drawing made entirely with Paintshop pro, based upon a sketch at the eyepiece.
More details at


NGC 6520 and Barnard 86

NGC 6520 and Barnard 86
NGC 6520 and Barnard 86 (B86)

Location: Nagyvarsány/Hungary
Observer: Viktor Cseh
Date: 2012-06-17
Telescope: 140/880 Newtonian reflector + 10mm ocular

Coordinates of the NGC6520: 18h03m -27°51′

This is my favourite open cluster! Small but bright, and very unique. The dark nebula can be seen very definitely, triangular, and there is a small tongue. The lights of Milky Way in the background.

Clear skies!


The Trifid Nebula Close to the Zenith

Messier 20
Messier 20

– M20 – The Trifid Nebula (NGC 6514)
– Emission/Reflection Nebula
– Apparent Magnitude: 6.3
– Itajobi, Brazil
– July 27th, 2011
– 01h00 (U.T.)
– 2B 0.5mm graphite pencil on white paper
– 180mm dobsonian reflecting telescope
– 20mm Super Plossl eyepiece
– Magnification: 54 x
– Seeing: Antoniadi 1 (fine)
– NELM: 5.5

As I’ve already said, July 2011 was a productive month for me. I could observe and sketch many objects as I had never done before. Conditions were exceptional: no clouds, fair wind and pleasant temperature. That night I pointed my telescope to many objects. One of them was M20. Close to the Zenith, it was clearly seen. The dark paths in the Nebula were confusing, though. Only with averted vision I was able to notice the feature thoroughly, so it was a tough job to put it down on the paper. That was my best observation of The Trifid Nebula, I hope you like it.

Clear sky to everyone

Rodrigo Pasiani Costa