Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Orion Nebula

After talking about my telescope set up, I took this picture last weekend. I had to wake up at 4AM to get a nice view of Orion, well before dawn.
And so, in the cold and in the dark, after lugging out 50+ pounds of gear to my backyard, spending 20 minutes just to set up, polar align the mount, then to align the scope, and to power up my laptop, I aimed it at Orion's Belt. Target: the Orion Nebula.
This was a 7 minute stacked shot of the nebular, 1300 light years away from Earth. It's surreal to think; that means what I'm seeing is from 1300 years ago- the photons that left this huge cloud of gas began it's race to us that long ago and is only now arriving. Through the eyepiece it was easily visible though the colors were not clear. But with minimal photo editing, I was able to bring the color out.
As a friend told me, this picture alone is worth the cost of the equipment.