Monday, April 1, 2013

The Stellar Nursery Next Door

Friday [3/29/13] was a gorgeous clear night, finally.  We started looking for PanSTARRS while waiting for astronomical dusk, found it well below Andromeda and not terribly spectacular.  We're planning on shooting it when it snuggles up to the Andromeda Galaxy 2 degrees apart this Thursday [4/4/13]. Fingers crossed for clear skies!  Once the Sun dropped sufficiently low we spent the few pre-Moon dark hours aimed at the Orion Nebula since it will be disappearing soon with the oncoming summer sky.  With my Nikon D90 attached to the William Optics Telescope mounted to the top of the Meade RCX for tracking we shot 45 second exposures for over a hour.

It's amazing, what looks like a single point of light in the most recognizable star formation of the Northern Hemisphere is actually a unfathomably massive star forming region.  Churning out stars and proto solar systems just down the street from us in our own Milky Way.

 Here she is in all her glory...well at least all the glory I could capture, there's so much going on there.
29 frames stacked in DeepSkyStacker
Williams Optics 81mm, f6, 45 sec, ISO2000 

Better than the previous Orion Nebula image? ...I like to think so.

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