The Orion Nebula
Now that Spring arrives tomorrow…. (rolls eyes) . I cleaned the snow away from my observatory,which was no easy task. Our latest snow storm dumped almost 2 feet of the white miserable stuff,adding to the already 2 feet that we already had on the ground.Not including the 5 foot drift piled up against the obs. I used a tractor with a bucket attachment,and it only took 45 minutes.
My other excuse for not getting eye piece time in was/is….THE COLD!!. Most every night the temp has been well below zero. A couple nights it had dipped to -30F. My cutoff is -5 below zero.
Our temps warmed to a balmy 37 Degrees yesterday. This gave me a much needed boost in ambition that lasted until 9:30 pm last night.
The sky was quite clear last night,although the transparency turned bad as a new weather system was approaching from the West.
I did get a few shots of Jupiter with the Neximage 5 ,and will post some pix when I get a chance. My main goal was to get some images of the Orion nebula. Last October,I drift aligned my scope in hopes of taking longer exposures. Last night was the first night I was able to really check my alignment. It didn’t disappoint. I was able to pull off a 4 minute,unguided image of my favorite nebula. A feat that I have never achieved before. My usual exposure times were in the 1.0 min-1.5 mins range before seeing star drift. WOOHOO!. I honestly believe I could have gone 5+ mins with minor drift. I had some very slight drift at 4 minutes,and was only noticeable when zooming in really deep. I took care of that in PS 6 .
AS I posted on FB,
This is the Great Orion Nebula, located in the Orion constellation. It is approximately 1,300 light years away. That is,the light that we see today, began it’s journey around 700 AD.
The image is a 240 second ,single shot at ISO 200.
Image credit: Andrew