Cold nights under Orion, the Hunter - Part II: The Great Orion Nebula

The Great Orion Nebula

Altair Astro Imaging Newtonian Telescope 200/800 f4 on EQ6-PRO GOTO Mount and Autoguiding with Orion StarShoot Autoguider. Camera: modified Canon EOS 700D DSLR Camera with Astronomik CLS Light Pollution filter. 19x5min and 10x2min exposures, ISO 800 (HDR)

The Great Orion Nebula

"The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated in the Milky Way, being 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 1,344 ± 20 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. "

"The entirety of the Orion Nebula extends across a 1° region of the sky, and includes neutral clouds of gas and dust, associations of stars, ionized volumes of gas, and reflection nebulae. It is an example of a stellar nursery where new stars are being born. Observations of the nebula have revealed approximately 700 stars in various stages of formation within the nebula. The Nebula is part of a much larger nebula that is known as the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex which extends throughout the constellation of Orion and includes Barnard's Loop, the Horsehead Nebula, M43, M78, and the Flame Nebula (for more informations see "Cold nights under Orion, The Hunter - Part I). Stars are forming throughout the entire Cloud Complex, but most of the young stars are concentrated in dense clusters like the one illuminating the Orion Nebula."

The Constellation of Orion,

Canon EF 50mm II, f1.8 on EQ5 Equatorial Mount, 1x2.5 min exposure, ISO 400, Camera: Canon 1000D

Trapezium in the heart of the Great Orion Nebula,

Skywatcher Newtonian Telescope 200/1000 f5 on EQ5 Equatorial mount, 1x40 sec exposure, ISO 800, Camera: Canon 1000D

The Trapezium Cluster

"The Trapezium or Orion Trapezium Cluster, also known by its Bayer designation of Theta Orionis, is a tight open cluster of stars in the heart of the Orion Nebula, in the constellation of Orion. The Trapezium is a relatively young cluster that has formed directly out of the parent nebula. The five brightest stars (red arrow) are on the order of 15-30 solar masses in size. They are within a diameter of 1.5 light-years of each other and are responsible for much of the illumination of the surrounding nebula."

Watching the Hunter in Enzberg,

Samyang 24mm, f2, 1x15 sec, ISO 200, Canon 5D MkIII, postprocessing in PS6

Finding Chart for the Great Orion Nebula image

About the Images:

This region of the sky is one of the most popular target among amateur astrophotographers. For me personally it was one of the first captured deep-sky objects at all at the beginning of 2016. Since that time my complete astrophotography gear was updated: new camera, telescope, mount, autoguiding etc. as well as new softwares and protocols for image processing. Because of this I have decided to shoot this wonderful object again.

I spent the december-january period astronomically in the spirit of Orion and its related two well-known deep-sky objects. In the first part of this series I showed the Horsehead and Flame Nebulae and now the Great Orion Nebula with its neighbouring objects. I planned initially a little bit more exposures than 19 five-minutes light frames but I am still satisfied with the result. Because of the high dynamic range of M42 I had to use HDR-Technic to show the region of the Trapezium. In 2016 I already tried to capture this region with my old 200/1000 Telescope. The central stars are fairly well visible on this single 40 s exposure.

The constellation of Orion itself is one of the most prominent and beautiful formation on the winter night sky. Also about one year ago I have already shot it as a whole with a 50mm f1.8 Canon lens and a Canon 1000D DSLR camera on a sky-tracking equatorial mount. Unfortunately the sky was not really clear but with the aid of some postprocessing methods I was able to use this image to demonstrate the position of the two deep-sky objects.

Actually I plan to deepen my knowledge in astro-landscape photography and therefore borrowed a friend of mine´s professional full frame DSLR camera. For this purpose I bought a nice 24 mm f1.4 wide angle lens which is a perfect combination to shoot the night-sky with interesting foreground scenes. The first-light of this present system was a relative simple composition of an empty field, the Constellation of Orion and myself with an astro-lamp.

Maybe next year I will return to this wonderful creature of nature with much more experience and could present on a much spectacular way its hidden beauty.




Made and designed by ATELIER KURUCZ in 2018