AstroTrac Widefield & Deep Sky Images
Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti
~ AstroTrac ~
Orion - Barnard's Loop - Sh2-264
Orion is one of the most recognizable constellations of the winter sky. The red-giant Betelgeuse shines yellow/orange in the upper left of the photo, and blue/white Rigel is at the bottom right. Between these two stars are three bright 2nd magnitude stars in a row (Alnitak, Alnilam, & Mintaka) that make up Orion's belt. Below and just to the left of the belt is a large star forming region containing M42, the Great Orion Nebula, surrounding the center star in Orion's sword. Just above M42 is the nebulous region containing the Horsehead Nebula, B33 and the Flame Nebula, NGC 2024 near the star Alnitak.
The largest emission nebula in the photo is Barnard's Loop, seen as a semi-circle around the belt and sword or Orion. The next largest nebula is SH2-264 surrounding the star Meissa above and to the right of Betelgeuse. Stars shapes and colors are somewhat diffused and enhanced by the use of a special fog filter.
Astrophotography - Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors