Monkey Head nebula

Monkey Head nebula in Orion taken with DSLR

A recent run of clear nights gave a rare opportunity to image the gems of the winter sky. The Great Orion Nebula, the Horsehead & Flame and the Rosette nebula were all bagged over the past week. With these targets moving behind a local tree each night, I moved to imaging a higher target at the end of every session; the Monkey Head Nebula in Orion. Although I’d never even heard of the nebula before last week, I managed to collect over 5 hours of data over four nights, making it the longest total exposure time I’ve ever mustered on a target.

Image details: Modified Nikon D5500 and William Optics ZenithStar 73 II APO with 73a field flattener at 430mm / f5.9. 5 hours and 4 minutes of exposure time (115x60s + 26x90s + 64x120s + 8x180s) at iso 800. Using Optolong L-eNhance filter. Tracked with unguided AstroTrac TT320X-AG. Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker with 20 dark / 30 flat / 30 bias frames. Sequenced with N.I.N.A.. Edited with Photoshop and Starnet++

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