noctilove
30
OCT
2013

Orion

orion nebula M42 barn door tracker

Orion is one of the most recognisable and celebrated sights in the winter sky. The constellation has been documented, worshipped and woven into fable and legend for thousands of years. The supergiant stars Betelgeuse and Rigel are two of the brightest in the sky, and the vast amount of nebulosity in the region make Orion an excellent target.

I tried my hand at capturing the legendary Orion nebula (M42) in the sword region. The nebula is among the brightest in the night sky, so I was optimistic for a pretty good result. But seeing it final result stacked in DSS with all its stunning detail, I couldn’t help but be blown away once again!

Details: Nikon D7000Nikkor 180mm f2.8 at f2.8. 56 minutes (112 x 30 seconds) at iso 800. Using didymium filter. Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker and tracked with barn door tracker.

horsehead nebula taken with barn door trackerOrion’s belt also contains the famous Horsehead nebula, which I thought would be neigh on impossible to capture due to its faintness and fairly low position in the sky as seen the UK. It’s a target made even tougher due to its red colour, which regular unmodified cameras don’t capture well.

It took the longest exposure I’ve managed to date (1 hour 12 minutes) to draw out the detail, but the final stacked image just about shows the Horsehead nebula, along with the beautiful flame nebula.

Details: Nikon D7000Nikkor 180mm f2.8 at f2.8. 72 minutes (144 x 30 seconds) at iso 800. Using didymium filter. Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker and tracked with barn door tracker.

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  1. Anil Ketkar Reply

    Anil again. I forgot to mention that I did use the Didymium filter on a commercial i-Optron tracker at 100% speed since I did not have any landscape in my picture. I used my Nikon D5200 with that 50mm f1.8 lens at f2.5. Used DSS for stacking. I do my post processing in the FastStone image viewer/editor …. Anil

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