Thursday, February 11, 2010

Constellation Orion Revisited

We are having a 'real' winter this year in Northern VA, so there have been no opportunities to do any astrophotography. A double-shot snowstorm over the past week has kept me in the house, but has also given me a chance to process some astro photos I took in December 2009.

The pictures were taken with a (Hutech modified) Canon 50D DSLR, Orion 80mm ED APO telescope, Orion Atlas GoTo mount. The Atlas mount was guided by Skywatch 80mm refractor and Orion Starshoot Autoguider using PHD guiding software.

I am experimenting with image stacking software (REGISTAX 5) to enhance astro pictures I photograph. Here are two pictures I have produced using Registax.

M42 - The Orion Nebula. I shoot this nebula a lot because of its beauty and brightness. Above and left of M42 is M43, a much fainter nebula nebula with a light blue glow surrounding a grouping of stars. I hope to get better pictures of M43 before Orion slips into the western sky.

[Total exposure time: 12 minutes, (6 x 120 sec.) with the camera set at ISO-640.]

Two objects are pictured in this image:

(1) NGC-2024 (the Flame Nebula) is located just left of the brightest star (Alnitak).

(2) IC434 (the Horse Head Nebula) is the dark cloud (that some say looks like a horse head) located along the edge of the reddish gas cloud that trails downward and to the right of Alnitak.

[Total exposure time: 16 minutes (6 x 16o sec.) with camera set to ISO-640.]

Hope to post more images soon.

Clear Skies!




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Roboknight said...

Jim, gotta be the best picture you've taken. The stars are so "in-focus" and the color is fantastic. Maybe I will someday be able to take pictures like this. NOT!

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