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Orion Nebula - M42 and NGC 1977





Scope: Megrez II at f/5.6; Location: Laguna Mountains, CA;  26 October, 2008; Camera: Canon XT 350D (Baader ACF modified)

Exposure: 8 x 12 min H-Alpha (13nmAstronomik EOS clip), 10 x 40 sec, 16 x 2 min, 8 x 6 min (no filters) all ISO 800, 5 Darks each, no Flats 

Processing: Images were captured with DSLR Focus  and saved as RAW file format. Images were decoded and dark corrected in IRIS. Images were aligned and stacked in IRIS with Sigma Median.  Dark point equalization and rough color balance  were done in IRIS. Color saturation, and gamma adjustments also done in Iris on all but the H-Alpha exposures. Each exposure set was saved as Tiff. The 40 second, 2 minute, and 6 minute exposure sets were blended in Photoshop for full dynamic range of this object. The H-Alpha exposure set was blended into the red channel (Lighten) in Photoshop.  A color adjustment was done for low signal intensity level (more red). Noise reduction was done in Pixinsght LE. Selctive sharpening was done in nebula areas. Final stretching and touch up was done in PhotoShop.  Final Image size is approximately 2151 x 3227.

North is up in this image.  This is a guided image.  This is a highly manipulated image since M42 has a large dynamic range. The core of M42 is fully saturated in all but the 40 second exposures. This region, M42, M43, and NGC 1977  is an active star forming region. Dust is reflecting a bluish tint of nearby stars. The Hydrogen gas is showing a reddish tint - it is stimulated to emission levels by nearby stars. NGC 1977 is also known as the Running Man Nebula. All three objects are about 1,300 light years distant from Earth. Vertical FOV is 178'

Object Center is approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 05h 34m 47s Dec: -0534'14"

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