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Orion Nebula
(2013-01-18 21:29)


About this Object

The Orion Nebula, also known as Messier object M42, is a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of about 1,344 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. It has a mass of about 2000 times the mass of the Sun. Older texts frequently refer to the Orion Nebula as the Great Nebula in Orion or the Great Orion Nebula. The Orion Nebula is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky, and is among the most intensely studied celestial features. The nebula has revealed much about the process of how stars and planetary systems are formed from collapsing clouds of gas and dust.

About this Image

My first attempt at a nebula, about two weeks after I purchased the Canon EOS 60Da. With almost no previous astrophotography experience, I was amazed by the result. I thought that either astrophotography is easier than I had imagined, or that I was naturally very good at it. I chose to believe the latter, and over time I realized that most of the credit goes to the size and brightness of the object. This image is really not that great. Viewing at 100x reveals focus (slightly blurred) and alignment (elongated stars) errors.


--- Date/Time ---
Local: 2013-01-18 21:29:00
UTC: 2013-01-19 01:29:00

--- Location ---
The Ashton Observatory at Johnson Farms, Ashton MD
(Latitude N39.15°, Longitude W77.01°, Elevation 510')

--- Conditions ---
Good seeing

--- Optics ---
Televue NP101is 101mm f/5.35 Refractor

--- Camera ---
Canon EOS 60Da

--- Exposure ---
Qty 12 30-second ISO 800

--- Post-Processing ---
RegiStax, PhotoShop



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