Nightscapes & Deep Sky
Brian A. Morganti
- Messier 42
Horsehead & Orion Nebula Region
Horsehead Nebula at the lower left
and the Orion
Nebula shown on the right are both part of an amazing
nebula complex located near the "belt" and "sword" in the
constellation of Orion. Beautiful swirling clouds of dust and
gas form bright and dark nebulae. These areas are stellar nurseries
where stars form when the clouds condense under the influence of
gravity. The Horsehead is a dark nebula with a "waterfall" of
red emission nebula above and is located 1,500 light-years away.
The Orion nebula is one of the brightest in the night sky and is a
complex of red emission nebulae located at a distance of 1,300
light-years. Both the Horsehead Nebula and Orion Nebula are
part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud which includes the
The bright star to the left of the "horse head"
and directly above the Flame Nebula is Alnitak, the eastern most
star in Orion's belt. Alnilam, the middle star of the belt,
can also be seen on the far left side of the image.
North is to the left in the above image.
Date & Location: March 18th 2015
- StarEffects Observatory - Bernville, PA
winds with an average temperature of 32F.
Clear with average transparency.
Optics: Canon 70-200mm f2.8L @
Filter: Astronomik clip-in CLS (Light
Mount: iOptron iEQ30pro
Guiding: None...PPEC enabled.
T1i (500d) Hap Griffin modified - Baader UV/IR
Exposure: 6 - 5 second subs @
6 - 1 minute subs @ ISO400
7 - 3 minute subs @ ISO400
18 - 4 minute subs @ ISO800
Total Exposure 99 minutes
Calibration Frames: None - Custom White Balance
Processing: Images Plus 5.75a,
PS CS6, GradientXTerminator, NIK filter tools
Comments: This was my first
serious test image with the iEQ30pro mount which I intend to use
as a portable setup from darker sky locations. I
used a tandem ADM bar setup with my Canon DSLR & lens on one
side and my TeleVue TV60is mounted on the other. Guiding
was not really needed given the shorter focal length and
relatively short exposures, but periodic error correction was
previously recorded and played back during image acquisition.
Overall pleased with the results as a cropped portion of the
image at 100% magnification reveals mostly round stars.
Not bad considering no auto guider was used to acquire the image
Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors