Orion Nebula M42 / M43



Scope: Megrez II at f/5 Location: Del Mar, CA, 10 January, 2006 Camera: Artemis285

Exposure: 8 x 240 sec and 8 x 60 sec H-Alpha exposures. 8 x 60 sec and 8 x 15 sec exposures with IR Block filter. 10 x 30 sec (2x2 bin) each RGB exposures. 

Processing: Images were captured  with Artemis Capture (as FITs).  Aligned/stacked in Registax 3 and saved as FITS. IR/UV Block,  H-Alpha, and Color exposures were scaled and rough color balanced in Astroart. Central gradient removal was done on H-Alpha and IR/UV Block exposures. Channels were co-registered in Astroart.  Curves and Levels applied in Photoshop to optimize object features. The H-Alpha exposure data was used as the base for Luminance channel construction Shorter H-Alpha and IR/UV Block exposures were used to desaturate the core area. Final LRGB combine was done in Photoshop using Luminance Layering (or LLRGB).   SGBNR was used to smooth background noise on the luminance construction and on final result.  Selective layer sharpening was performed on prominent nebula features. Final Image size is approximately 1392x1040.

All exposures in this image were guided; North up in this image. The Great Orion Nebula is one of the more well known objects in our Milky Way Galaxy - mainly due to its prominent display in the winter sky in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brighter areas of a giant gas cloud covering about 10 degrees of sky. As a reference, this image covers a little more than one degree - this size is over 4 times that of the full moon. This image is actually two cataloged objects M42 - the Orion Nebula, and M43 - the little horned object in the upper left. These objects are a distance of about 1,600 light years from Earth. This image replaces an earlier image that can be seen in the Archives here.  The Horizontal FOV is 77'.

Image center is located approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 05h 34m 52s Dec: -0533'08"


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