This is not my first image of the beautiful Orion Nebula and probably will not be my last. It was captured on a field night with Macarthur Astronomical Society, despite several equipment issues I had to deal with.
Messier 42, NGC 1976, LBN 974.
Visual magnitude: +4.0
Apparent diameter: 85 x 60.0 arc-min. (about 2 Lunar Diameters).
Actual diameter: 35 light years.
Distance: 1,400 light years.
Altitude: 41° above NE horizon.
Also visible in this image are: NGC 1973, NGC 1975, and NGC 1977,the Running Man Nebula; the smaller bright nebula, M43; open cluster NGC 1981.
Exposure: 52 x 90 sec = 78 min. Live stacked.
Date: 2018-12-03 commencing approx 11.15 pm
Location: The Oaks, NSW.
Sky: semi-dark rural.
Image acquisition software: SharpCap.
Image post-processing: GIMP.
[ZWO ASI071MC Pro]
Output Format=FITS files (*.fits)
Frame Rate Limit=Maximum
White Bal (B)=56(Auto)
White Bal (R)=39(Auto)
Auto Exp Max Gain=300
Auto Exp Max Exp M S=30000
Auto Exp Target Brightness=100
Anti Dew Heater=Off
Display Black Point=0
Display MidTone Point=0.5
Display White Point=1
Imaging telescope: Skywatcher Esprit 120ED Super APO triplet refractor.
Focal length: 840 mm, focal ratio: f/7.
Imaging camera: ZWO ASI 071 MC Pro
Guiding: off (guide camera malfunction).
Telescope mount: SkyWatcher EQ6-R.
Polar aligning method: QHYCCD PoleMaster.
Polar alignment error: estimated 4-6 arc-min.
Field flattener: yes; filter: no.
Well, I’ve had nearly a year of frustration with my SkyWatcher EQ6 mount, which has been giving me alignment errors since January. It’s been looked at twice by the dealer and the Australian Skywatcher supplier, Tasco. They found nothing wrong and I’ve had mixed results since getting it back.
I thought it was resolved but it played up again on this occasion and I ended up manually locating this easy object so I would not come away empty-handed. I now have reason to believe it was a power supply issue and have since bought a replacement battery to power the mount.
Sharpcap live stack performed well, once I was able to begin imaging.
Other Recent Orion Posts:
Image © R.Powell