The Great Orion (M42) and Running Man (M43) Nebulae

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Joel
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#1
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 2,000 times that of the Sun. Older texts frequently refer to the Orion Nebula as the Great Nebula in Orion or the Great Orion Nebula.

Image acquisition details:
Camera: Canon 80D
Mount: HEQ5 Pro Rowan Belt Modded
Telescope: William Optics ZenithStar 73
APT Software using for image capture
Stacked in DeepSkyStacker and Processed in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom
3 hours and 45 minutes worth of 60 second sub frames
50 Bias frames
30 Flat frames
No Dark frames
No Light Pollution filter
Bortle 6 skies

The Great Orion (M42) and Running Man (M43) Nebula
by Joel Spencer, on Flickr
 
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3,081
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Jan
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#4
Joel, have you ever considered investing in some more advanced integration software? The level your astro work has reached (very good) it would probably benefit you. I think MaximDL is one, but I've never used it. I use PixInsight, which will do everything including post processing, though I use PaintShop Pro for the tweaks just because I'm more familiar with its interfaces. It costs, but it's a one off cost for installation on as many computers as you like and free updates/upgrades. It's also quite a learning curve (originally written for Linux which probably says it all) but there are video tutorials and a book for people like me who can't learn from videos. I guess in that respect it's on a par with any similar package. Worth thinking about and free trialling a few. Also might be worth picking up a cheap second hand camera and modding the sensor. My partner and I use an old 350D, which we have had from new, but is perfectly up to the job, and the button layout makes it easy to use in the dark. I use it a lot more than he does as he prefers a CCD, but nearly all my astro stuff has been done with it. He's just bought a Williams Optics refractor to compliment a 200mm RC reflector. I'm hoping it's light enough so I can steal it occasionally to put on my own mount (it's a 6.5kg max payload).
 
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Joel
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#5
Joel, have you ever considered investing in some more advanced integration software? The level your astro work has reached (very good) it would probably benefit you. I think MaximDL is one, but I've never used it. I use PixInsight, which will do everything including post processing, though I use PaintShop Pro for the tweaks just because I'm more familiar with its interfaces. It costs, but it's a one off cost for installation on as many computers as you like and free updates/upgrades. It's also quite a learning curve (originally written for Linux which probably says it all) but there are video tutorials and a book for people like me who can't learn from videos. I guess in that respect it's on a par with any similar package. Worth thinking about and free trialling a few. Also might be worth picking up a cheap second hand camera and modding the sensor. My partner and I use an old 350D, which we have had from new, but is perfectly up to the job, and the button layout makes it easy to use in the dark. I use it a lot more than he does as he prefers a CCD, but nearly all my astro stuff has been done with it. He's just bought a Williams Optics refractor to compliment a 200mm RC reflector. I'm hoping it's light enough so I can steal it occasionally to put on my own mount (it's a 6.5kg max payload).
Thanks for the kind words first of all Jan. 4 hours of imaging time is the most I've put into a project so far and as you know more data equals pulling out the fainter dust etc. so I hope to add to this image by the Spring, somewhere between 5 and 10 hours of data would be nice.

I am at the point where I am thinking about buying a CCD camera now with the benefit of increased sensitivity and decreased noise, or, as you say investing in a second hand DSLR and modifying that. I've just today received a light pollution filter and guide camera to fit to my guide scope, so I will be delving into PHD and auto guiding now, so hopefully I'll be able to add longer exposures and improve my SNR.

With regards image processing I will properly try PixInSight at some point but I do enjoy working with Photoshop.

As I need a DSLR for landscape work I cannot mod my Canon 80D, annoyingly, as I can use it at ISO 200 with it being almost "ISO-less" and going for an earlier rebel model (my first DSLR was a 700D) would mean using ISO 800, but I guess once enough data is stacked the noise is indiscernible.

Since I absolutely love nebulae and all the hydrogen alpha rich targets a mono CCD is probably the way to go though.

Which refractor did your partner buy?
 
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matt
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#6
I keep seeing the great shots you guys are taking and telling myself I need to get out more!
Where do you live Joel, light pollution is a problem for me as I live in the wilds of Hertfordshire but smack in the middle of town.
Matt
 
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Jan
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#7
Thanks for the kind words first of all Jan. 4 hours of imaging time is the most I've put into a project so far and as you know more data equals pulling out the fainter dust etc. so I hope to add to this image by the Spring, somewhere between 5 and 10 hours of data would be nice.

I am at the point where I am thinking about buying a CCD camera now with the benefit of increased sensitivity and decreased noise, or, as you say investing in a second hand DSLR and modifying that. I've just today received a light pollution filter and guide camera to fit to my guide scope, so I will be delving into PHD and auto guiding now, so hopefully I'll be able to add longer exposures and improve my SNR.

With regards image processing I will properly try PixInSight at some point but I do enjoy working with Photoshop.

As I need a DSLR for landscape work I cannot mod my Canon 80D, annoyingly, as I can use it at ISO 200 with it being almost "ISO-less" and going for an earlier rebel model (my first DSLR was a 700D) would mean using ISO 800, but I guess once enough data is stacked the noise is indiscernible.

Since I absolutely love nebulae and all the hydrogen alpha rich targets a mono CCD is probably the way to go though.

Which refractor did your partner buy?
I'm sure Photoshop is excellent for proccessing but paid for software does a much better job of the initial integration/stacking and also background removal. It also makes it easy to use HDR stacking. I often use several different exposures for the subs. I use iso 800 on the old 350D and once I've integrated the subs I've never felt that noise is an issue. PI does noise reduction too but personally I use the tools in PSP. My partner uses a mono CCD and over time Santa has brought him RGB filters and narrowband (Ha, OIII and SII?). I think he's bought the next size up from yours. Guarenteed to be cloudy for the next 6 months.......................... Some of his stuff's on Flickr (GordonWRT) if you're interested. Various scopes/cameras used. The 250mm reflector has been replaced by the 200mm RC as it was very old and not suitable for modern imaging techniques. The 0.5m and the OSD CCD are, needless to say, not ours! Neither is the 200mm reflector I use for some of my stuff.

Where do you live Joel, light pollution is a problem for me as I live in the wilds of Hertfordshire but smack in the middle of town.
Matt
We are lucky in that we live in villages in a rural area, and although we do have street lights, we can work around them. Himself just has a problem with his neighbours' overly tall trees so he's thinking he may have to up sticks for some objects, but his mount is not exactly easily portable. I only have just over half the sky due to my house being in the way (silly place to build a house - what were they thinking?). Wherever you live it's rarely simple.
 
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