That was a tough processing challenge working through all that light pollution to reveal the Horsehead and Flame nebulae. This is the best I could produce with my minimal knowledge of Pixinsight, switching between Harry’s Astroshed tutorials and scavenging online for other tips and tricks to editing DSLR images in PixInsight. I’m pretty pleased with this as it is hard to pull out much detail after removing light pollution without adding too much of that blotchy grainy noise in the background.
NGC 2023 – Horsehead and Flame Nebulae 01-06-16
Taken from a light polluted zone (red Bortle scale)
Telescope: Omni XLT 150
Orion Starshoot Autoguider
Guiding in Linux with Lin_Guider
Modded Canon 350D
42 images at 5 minutes a piece. With 30 Flats, 30 Bias, and 40 Dark frames.
Straight out of the camera single image.
The orion nebula is a diffuse nebula just south of Orion’s belt hidden in the three stars that represent his sword. The middle star of the sword is a whole lot more than the single star you see with your unaided eye, it actually consists of many stars being born within the nebula. The orion nebula is the closest massive star forming region to Earth. M42 is estimated to be 24 light years across and estimated to be roughly 1344 light years to Earth. This nebula is one of the most studied nebula for astronomers who have directly observed protoplanetary disks, brown dwarfs, turbulent motions of gas, and photo-ionizing effects of large nearby stars to the nebula. This nebula being so large can be seen with the unaided eye from non light polluted skies and given it’s large size wasn’t technically discovered by Charles Messier, but he included it in his list of objects as M42.
X Marks the spot of M42
This nebula has many faint regions, but the section containing the trapezium is definitely visible through my 6” scope with a 30mm eyepiece. The trapezium is visible with it, but takes a strong power to split them nicely, I find the 4mm to do a pretty good job at it.
This image is constructed of 41 light frames, 20 at 30 seconds, and 21 at 60 seconds both shot with an ISO of 400. Also included is 30 dark frames, 25 flat frames, and 34 bias frames. Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and post processing done in Photoshop.
Omni XLT 150 with CG-4 mount
T-ring and adapter
Polar Scope for alignment