Home > Uncategorized > Orion’s Sword in Narrowband

Orion’s Sword in Narrowband

This is a false color image of the region of Orion that would be his sword, hanging from the leftmost star of the belt, Alnitak. The concentration of  nebulosity here makes this image almost an astroimaging cliche, but it’s certainly a cliche worth capturing.  The image is about six degrees tall, but with the STL-11000M, such a wide field barely took two overlapping frames to cover. This was another test shot that turned out to be good enough to process.  Ideally, I’d capture more data, but it’s been cloudy (or I’ve been traveling for work) for over two months since the original data were captured.

At the top is M42 and M43, possibly the most imaged nebula complex in the night sky.  This makes sense, as they are so bright, you can see them with your naked eyes, and even a small telescope reveals detail. At the bottom is the much dimmer Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula. The whole region contains significant ionized gas. This image represents about nine hours of exposures taken over two nights. As usual, SII is mapped to red, H-alpha to green, and OIII to blue, with some further modification in Photoshop.

Image data:
Exposures:  15 x 600s Ha , 21 x 600s O-III, 22 x 600s S-II
Software:  guiding by PHD, stacking in DeepSkyStacker
Processing:  PixInsight, Photoshop CS3, modified Hubble palette
Telescope:  Takahashi FSQ-106ED
Camera:  SBIG STL-11000M with Astrodon 6nm narrowband filters, 2×2 binned
Mount:  CGEM
January 7-8, 2013

Orion's sword, reprocessed

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Categories: Uncategorized
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