Orion in the Clouds


The Orion constellation – it’s one of the best known, easily recognised and most imaged constellations. Orion is unmistakable for:

  • its belt of three stars (Mintaka, Alnilam and Alnitak),
  • the sword containing the Great Orion Nebula (to right of belt)
  • the wide pair of bright stars Rigel (top right), Saiph (lower right), and
  • the wide pair of bright stars Bellatrix (in cloud at left) and red super-giant Belelgeuse (near the tree).

The small open cluster just above my neighbour’s tv antenna is Collinder 69.

The camera was tilted slightly, to squeeze the entire constellation into the frame, which is an estimated 39.6° x 27.0° and the clouds were illuminated by a bright, almost full Moon, just outside the frame.

Image Details:

Canon 60D on tripod, with 50mm fixed lens f/1.4, ISO 800, 1.3 second exposure.

And Another Thing…….

Warning: Soapbox alert:

I took the above from my front driveway, where I normally set up my telescope. It was a bonus shot, as I was taking images of the Moon to compare with my new enemy, the powerful LED light my local council recently installed on a taller pole to replace the metal-halide lamp on a shorter pole that was there before. I wanted to estimate how bright it is.

The following two images were taken with identical equipment and settings:

2019-11-14 - The Moon One Day after Full
The relatively subdued full Moon. 50mm fixed lens, f/2.2, ISO 100, 1.3 second exposure. (2019-11-14)
2019-11-14 My New Enemy
My New Enemy, the new street light, unnecessarily bright on an unnecessarily taller pole. It should have been designed to just illuminate the street but – being without any shrouding – it also illuminates all the properties in the street as well. 50mm fixed lens, f/2.2, ISO 100, 1.3 second exposure. (2019-11-14).

With my cataracts recently removed,  I could very clearly see the distinguishing light and dark features of the Moon. I could stare directly at it to my heart’s content, without any discomfort whatsoever (as one would expect). There was no feeling of glariness to cause me to look away.

With the street light – it was far too uncomfortable to look at directly for more than a fraction of a second. Any more would have been potentially detrimental to my eyesight.

The full Moon was about magnitude -12. It’s hard to estimate these things but this street light is many times brighter than the Moon and I reckon the wretched thing – twenty-five metres away – is about magnitude -15 or more.

😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎

When you need sun glasses to step outside your front door at night, then you know there’s an unnecessary waste of money and electrical energy, dissipating light everywhere that its not supposed to go.

Also in image:  See my image with Astrometry.net annotated overlay.

2018-03-10 Telescope & Roger

Images © Roger Powell




    1. Thanks for the link, I’m sure you noted that your image is upside down to mine.

      I always like to see other bloggers Astro-images – and it’s always nice to see the distinction clearly made between Astronomy and ASStrology. I’ve not done that for a while, maybe its time to repeat it.

      There are a lot of folks out there who either (a) believe they are both the same thing; or (b) believe that ASStrology is actually a real science which works. There really are!

      “Belief” is such a dangerous attribute, only to be used wisely.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well, my shots don’t compare to yours, but I had fun putting that post together.

      Not sure I’ll be able to do anything like those here. Colorado had really sharp and clear nights because of the altitude and very low humidity.

      . . . and who are you saying is upside down!?!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That is a very nice picture. The clouds add an interesting touch. One thing that strikes me is the orientation of Orion. It is rotated from what I see in the northern hemisphere. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers Jim.

      Sometimes clouds get in the way, sometimes they enhance the image. I think with this one it may be halfway between the two – but you can only shoot what is in front of you.

      Yes, Orion is upside-down here compared to your view of it. That’s a piece of evidence!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Soap box alert content mirrors my own wish to rant about the damn street light illuminating *nothing.* So far it’s only in my head to snarl at the local Town Council. Thanks for posting. Fran


    1. Thanks, Fran.
      I’m still considering asking Council to shroud my property, whether to waste my time only to be ignored; or just accept the inevitable.


  3. Nice colors in Orion, and the clouds plus terrestrial markings create a wonderful perspective framing.

    At magnitude -15, just pretend Jupiter has exploded to become our Solar System’s second star. Be sure to affix the right solar filter to any telescope before viewing or imaging.

    Liked by 1 person

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