Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Sword of Orion Region (2018 Attempt)

Obviously a fantastic part of the sky, imaged by many! I really wanted to get a lot of data of this region now that the observatory was up and running. After a few attempts, I realized that my stars were rather oblong during long exposure imaging. Couldn't really figure it out, so I hit the proverbial reset button: realigned the mount, rebalanced the mount with photographic equipment attached, re-installed new guiding software (PHD2), and started from scratch. Immediately saw better results with easier guiding (software could easily pick up guide stars) and could now get nice round stars. Also paid attention to focusing!

Anyway, the image below is a nice result!

Image Details:

  • Imaging Scope: AstroTelescopes 80mm ED Refractor
  • Imaging Camera: Nikon D7000
  • Guiding Scope: William Optics 66mm Petzval Refractor
  • Guiding Camera: Orion Starshoot Autoguider
  • Light Frames: 20*5 minutes @ ISO1250 for the overall region, 20*1 minutes @ ISO1250 for the core
  • Bias Frames: 20
  • Dark Frames: 10
  • Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
  • Merged in Dynamic Photo-HDR
  • Tweaked in Adobe Lightroom


Jim Luca said...

Oh, my God, Phil, I've spent some time looking at your picture and, believe me, I've never seen something more beautiful than this! Many, many congratulations! I've been looking for data about the Orion due to my interest in archaeology and astronomy( influenced by R. Bauval, G. Hancock and so on) and I must recognize this part of our small universe is fascinating. Where was this picture taken from? It was a clear sky which rarely happens in my part of the world :) Anyway, it is the best shot I've ever seen! 10 X for sharing it.

Phil said...

Hi Jim,

Many thanks for your comment! I see you are in Romania - are the clouds really that bad there? This image was taken in Central Texas. We have pretty decent weather although there is nothing but rain and clouds forecast for this upcoming New Moon period.

Thanks and clear skies!!!