Skies By Africa

Images of the Heavens By Eric Africa

M42, the Orion Nebula

M42
Hubble LRGB
The constellation Orion and the Orion Nebula are among the most recognizable constellation and nebula in the sky. They are equally visible in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, providing most of the world’s population a great view of one of the night sky’s showcase objects. Step out on a clear winter evening in the Northern Hemisphere (summer in the Southern Hemisphere), locate Orion’s belt and look south of the center star, towards Orion’s sword. With reasonably dark skies, one of the “stars” in Orion’s sword could be seen to be a bit fuzzy. Guess what? That’s the Orion Nebula!
 
Constellation: Orion
When Visible: December - April
Distance: 1,500 Light-years
Dates:
Hubble Palette version: December 2005
LRGB version: December 2004
Locations:
Hubble Palette version: Highland County, Ohio
Exposure Details:
Hubble Palette Version
Hydrogen-Alpha: 4 x 5 Minutes for the outer regions, 3 x 1 Minute for the Trapezium region, binned 1x1
S-II: 4 x 5 Minutes for the outer regions, 3 x 1 Minute for the Trapezium region, binned 1x1
O-III: 4 x 5 Minutes for the outer regions, 3 x 1 Minute for the Trapezium region, binned 1x1

LRGB Version
L: 10 x 1 Minute Binned 1x1 for outer regions, 10 x 10 Seconds Binned 1x1 for Core region
R: 5 x 1 Minute Binned 2x2 for outer regions, 5 x 10 Seconds Binned 2x2 for Core region
G: 5 x 1 Minute Binned 2x2 for outer regions, 5 x 10 Seconds Binned 2x2 for Core region
B: 5 x 1 Minute Binned 2x2 for outer regions, 5 x 10 Seconds Binned 2x2 for Core region
 
Equipment Used:
Hubble Palette Version: Takahashi FSQ-102 on a Takahashi EM200 Temma-PC mount. SBIG STL-6303 camera with 5-position filter wheel and Astrodon narrowband filters. Self-guided using camera's built-in guide chip.
LRGB Version: Takahashi FSQ-102 on a Takahashi EM200 Temma-PC mount. SBIG ST-8XE camera with 5-position filter wheel and Astrodon filters. Self-guided using camera's built-in guide chip.
 
Acquisition Software : MaximDL, TheSky6 (CCDSoft used instead of MaximDL for LRGB version)
Processing Software:  MaximDL, Photoshop CS, IrFanView (CCDSoft used instead of MaximDL for LRGB version)