Once or twice a year I hope to be able to get a reasonable shot of M42, the great nebula in Orion. Here's last night's effort, assembled from 20 1 minute frames. I also took 20 equivalent dark frames to eliminate pixel noise, and they seem to have worked quite well. I did the processing in Nebulosity, a very nice astronomy image-acquisition and processing package.
What I've learned from this is that I still need to go to shorter exposures not to wash out the central core. Also, examining this composite shot compared to one I took a couple of years ago, I think my focusing was a little slapdash last night. However, room to experiment means more fun the next time the clouds roll away. I am always in a little rush since I only have a short window to observe Orion at this time, before it falls below trees as visible from my garden. Unfortunately we haven't been blessed with many clear evenings this winter, so the good time to observe this constellation was lost under cloudy skies.
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