Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

Sh2-263  Red Emission Nebula

Vdb 38 Blue Reflection Nebula

"The Moldy Strawberry"



A pretty Emission and Reflection nebula combo surrounded by interstellar dust located in the constellation of Orion just to the north of the star Bellatrix.  The Red Nebula gives off its own energized light while the Blue Nebula is illuminated by the nearby 5.78 magnitude hot young star HR 1763 located near center of the red emission nebula Sh2-263.

A couple of very small faint galaxies can be seen about half way from the nebula complex and the bottom right hand corner of this image.  North is to the right in this image.


  • Date & Location:  January 7th/8th, 2013 - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm Winds, Temperature range 25F to 21F.  10% snow covered ground.

  • Sky Conditions:  Clear with above  average transparency at start, average at finish as dew points increased.

  • SQM-L:  20.20 start - 20.32 finish.

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor @ 540mm f5.4 with no field flattener. 

  • Filter:  Hutech IDAS-LPS (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  AstroPhysics AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  Orion SSAG @5 seconds exposures.

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500d) Hap Griffin modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  18 - 10 minute subs  @ ISO800 -  (180 minutes) 3 hours total exposure time.

  • Calibration Frames:  No Darks or Bias Used - Sub Freezing Temperatures

  • Processing:  Images Plus 4.50b, PS CS6, GradientXTerminator, NIK filter tools 

  • Comments:  Third  image after collimation of NP101is optics with just a bit of curvature at corners of image which should be improved with the use of my field flattener @540mm. 


Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors