It’s just too good a target not to image each year – the great Orion Nebula, Messier Object No.42….. This year it really was just a test that everything was working, I have cleaned the mirror (scary!), drift aligned(was off by a small amount which was affecting my guiding), collimated the scope and finally cleaned my CCD (scarier that cleaning the mirror!). Thankfully everything went as planned, the previous week the powerpack on my laptop blew, then the PSU for the USB hub managed to come loose) and I got 1.5hrs in 15min subs on Orion before moving to another target but shortly after it clouded over….
Pretty pleased with the image, guiding looks good, collimation as well, so all I need is more clear skies!
I say it every year – but you have got to image M42 every season, it’s such an amazing object and really lens itself to imaging. This is not my best attempt, the weather this season has bee terrible, this was imaged during a nearly full moon but it was so long since I had the scope out that I had to take mu chances! It’s just under an hour in 5 min subs, back on the 8″ F4 Newt again (I love this instrument, just pulls the photons in!). Processed in Pixinsight – DBE, a little HDR Wavelets to bring out the core and the slightest of touches of LHE…..
As I have said before, each year you need to go image the Orion Nebula, it’s such an amazing object and always makes a nice image.
This year I left it a bit late and as a result Orion was really low in the sky, thats why you can see the reflection of some lights in the bottom corner. It was taken this time with my wiefield setup – the William Optics ZS70, last year was a lot closer in with the big newt. Also due to the clouds rolling in this was cut short and is really only 4 X 20min exposures, with a load of shorter ones for the core (Orion is so bright you need to take 2 sets of images so as not to overexpose the core).
I re-shot the Ha data as the previous version was pushed way to far (A constant danger with Pixinsight!) and added it to the RGB I shot a few days ago. I am a lot happier with it now, I deliberatly underprocessed it to get a softer and more natural look to it.
This is a Pixinsight HDR composition of 2,5 and 15min subs – The camera was rotated at another angle when I took the 15min subs so I have had to crop it to just the main Orion Nebula. I will go back and get some 15min subs at the correct angle soon though…..