Orion widefield: click to enlarge NGC 1981 open cluster and NGC 1977 running man reflection nebula: click to enlarge NGC 1977 running man reflection nebula: click to enlarge.
I have waited SO long for a clear night and at last it came! Orion is now low in the sky so this was my last chance to image these targets for this year. Set up as usual and wasn’t sure if I had a great polar alignment – also, the Orion nebula is so bright that long exposures burn out easily so I chose 2 minutes as a good compromise. I was keen to use “dithering” with my auto-guider as it is said to reduce noise and bring out subtle detail – seemed to work very well. Am also now using “Neat Image” anti-noise software which has made a big difference.
Although it doesn’t look like much, I am very fond of open cluster NGC 1981 as it is the first object I looked at in a star atlas then decided to try and find with my telescope (a 8.75 inch Dobsonian). My old sky diary from 2009 is here: http://www.johnapurvis.synology.me/sky_diary.html
480/80mm refractor. Canon 60Da at ISO 800, 14 x 2 min sub-exposures. Astro-Hutech LPS filter. Ioptron ZEQ25GT mount. SSAG/PHD auto-guiding/dithering (dithered: every sub at 2 pixels). Focusing and camera sequencing/control with BackYard EOS. 30 darks and 25 flats (white LED panel: 1/20s @ ISO 800).
Post-processed in PixInsight 1.8 and Photoshop CC 2014. Noise reduction with Neat Image.
Two beautiful nebulae in Orion. They lie beside the left-hand star in Orion’s belt. Ive always wanted to see the Horsehead but it is too dim for my telescope.
This image was taken with a Canon 60Da with 200mm f2.8 L lens set at ISO 800 and at f3.5. 16 x 30 second sub-exposures were stacked together to make the final image (processed in PixInsight and Photoshop).
The “rays” coming from the brighter stars are a diffraction artefact caused by the 8 blades of the iris in the lens. After some research, I found out that this can possibly be avoided by using “step down” rings attached to the end of the lens – these are used to attach smaller diameter accessories to a lens but have the effect of “stopping down” the lens. A 72mm – 65mm ring is the equivalent of stopping the lens down to f3.2 and a 72-55mm ring gives f3.6 for this particular lens.
Barnard 33, Dark nebula, Orion. Horsehead Nebula.
NGC 2023, Reflection Nebula, Orion.
IC 434, Emission nebula, Orion.
IC 431, Reflection nebula, Orion.
The bright star in the centre is Alnitak. The left-hand star in Orion’s Belt. Just to the left is the Burning Bush nebula(NGC 2024). Below is the Horsehead nebula (Barnard 33) outlined by the glow of Hydrogen alpha light (IC 434).