This is part of the huge Orion molecular cloud of dust and gas which acts as a stellar nursery.Theres no getting away from the fact that most of the stars in this image are brown! – due to overlying dust.
In the centre of the image, two young B-class stars (HD 38563A and HD 38563B) are reflected in the surrounding gas with an overlying dark arch.
Towards upper left is another reflection nebula, NGC 2071.
NGC 2064 and NGC 2067 are the two bright zones above the dark arch.
Towards the lower right, some early stars are just managing to penetrate the darkness as red or yellow splotches. One of these splotches (triangular – just to right of two small stars) brightened considerably in 2004 – its thought a young star ignited at that time – the region is called McNeil’s nebula after the amateur who noticed it.
Infra-red imaging shows about 45 new stars in the early phases of development in this cloud (T-tauri stars or Herbig-Haro objects which are outflow jets from young forming stars).
Image acquired remotely from the Mayhill observatory in New Mexico.
16 x 5 minute exposures. Dithered and drizzled.
Takahashi 150mm refractor
SBIG ST-4000XCM One Shot Color CCD camera
Mount: Paramount GTS
Field of view 49 x 49 arcminutes
Post-processing in PixInsight and Photoshop CC.
The bright Orion belt star, Alnitak (O class), lies to the left (you can just see that it has a companion – B class).
The Burning Bush or Flame nebula is just below that (NGC 2024 or Sharpless-2 227).
To the right is Barnard 33 – the Horsehead dark nebula – dense, cold dust and gas backlit by a cloud of glowing hydrogen gas (IC 434).
Go left and downwards from B33 and there are two dust/gas cloud reflection nebulae lit by bright stars. The larger one is NGC 2023.The smaller is IC 435.
Altair Astro 480/80mm scope.
Canon 60Da at ISO 800 – 14 x 5 minute exposures.
Hutech LPS filter.
Guiding and dithering with SSAG/PHD.
Ioptron ZEQ25GT equatorial mount.
Drizzling and post processing in PixInsight.
30 flats (LCD panel – ISO800 at 1/20 sec)
Weather remains terrible so I have gone back on some old data. The above image is formed of 7 separate images stacked in PixInsight and then some key Milky Way features annotated.
The Summer Triangle comprises the 3 bright stars: Deneb, Vega and Altair.
The North American Nebula is a hydrogen alpha emission zone.
The Coathanger is an asterism that looks like an upside down Coathanger- its official name is Collinder 399.
I’ve always liked dark nebulae – dust and molecular clouds that obscure stars. I’ve marked in LeGentil 3, the Northern Coalsack and Aquila Rift.
Canon 5d mark 2 with 14mm f2.8L lens at f2.8 and ISO 3200 -20 second exposures.
Next time, I’ll try it with a hydrogen alpha enhanced camera and try pushing up to about 30 seconds exposure. Quite a lot of coma with this lens at the periphery.