M42 - The Orion Nebula - Stunning Winter Deep-Sky Object

The Orion Nebula and Running Man Nebula photographed with an 80mm telescope
M42 - The Orion Nebula. Also NGC 1972, NGC 1975 and NGC 1977.

M42 & M43, The Orion Nebula (& Running Man)
Imaged Friday, Nov 29, 2013 from Ontario, Canada.


Telescope: Explore Scientific ED80 with WO Flat III 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro II and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: Orion Mini 50mm
Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Stock)
ISO: 1600
Exposure: 2 hours (30 x 240s)

Processing Software: Calibration and Stacking in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels/Curves/Enhancements in Photoshop CC
Support Files: 15 darks

The Orion Nebula is a diffuse nebula, south of Orion's belt. It is one of the brightest and well-known nebulae in the night-sky. It is clearly visible in binoculars, even from light-polluted city skies like the one in my backyard! This nebula is well-photographed by amateurs and pros alike. It was one of the first objects I ever photographed through a telescope, and I still remember my reaction when I saw what appeared on my camera screen.

As a matter of fact, I kept one of the very first images I took of Orion back in 2010 with my Canon Powershot Point-and-shoot camera...

My first image of a nebula with a point and shoot camera
One of my first astrophotography images - M42 - The Orion Nebula... kind of

The Orion constellation is probably the most gratifying constellation in the sky to image as a whole. The powerful figure of Orion the hunter is so prominent, it makes you think of all of the other people who stared up at him in wonder for thousands of years. Here is an image of the constellation I took from my parents backyard as Orion rose over the neighbors fence. As luck would have it, there was even a meteorite that came streaking by during the shot!

I haven't posted in a while. My excuse is a combination of cloudy skies, switching hosting services and of course, the holidays. The image above was the last time I have been able to gather enough photons to create a decent photo. The weather has been pretty miserable, constant clouds with lots of precipitation and very, very cold! (Last night was -38°C with the windchill!)

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