IC 2118

Witchhead Nebula

IC 2118 is a bright reflection nebula in the constellation of the Eridanus River and is called the Witchhead Nebula because of its shape. It is stimulated to glow by the star Rigel.


recording data

object IC 2118
date of recording
5 December 2016
exposure 4.2 h, RGB: 151x100"
telescope Celestron RASA F2.2
focal lenght 620mm
filter IDAS LPS D1
camera Canon EOS 5Da MKII
guiding 250mm guide scope, MGEN
mount Celestron CGE pro
AstroBin click here

Who's afraid
of the witch?

The Witchhead Nebula (NGC 1909 or IC 2118) is a reflection nebula in the constellation River Eridanus, which reflects the blue light of the neighbouring bright star Rigel. The approximately 2° distance between Rigel and the Witchhead Nebula corresponds to a distance of approximately 28 light years, but the reflection nebula is approximately 200 light years further away. Rigel appears from there with an apparent brightness of -3.2 mag and would therefore be somewhat less bright than Venus seen from Earth.


The Witchhead Nebula is extremely faint and a real challenge for astrophotographers. On single exposures of 100 seconds not much of the fog could be recognized despite a bright optics.


Some scientists believe that IC 2118 could be an ancient supernova remnant.

Baerenstein Observatory

private observatory
Marcel Drechsler






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