News: Two Bright Nebulae in Orion's Sword

Two Bright Nebulae in Orion's Sword

Two Bright Nebulae in Orion's Sword

Two Bright Nebulae in Orion's Sword

My attempt at real astrophotography. The two bright nebula are M 42 and M 43 located in Orion's Sword. I took about 20 images at ISO 800 and 1.6 second exposures using a 300 mm lens and stacked them in Photoshop after repositioning them because of the movement of the sky. This is cropped in just a tiny bit.

I think taking this picture might have just cost me a few thousand dollars... because now I might have to buy some dedicated equipment...

10 Comments

What camera did you use? this is amazing!

I have a Panasonic GH2 which is a small SLR-like camera (It doesn't have a mirror and the viewfinder is entirely electronic). But I'm pretty sure you could take even a little compact zoom camera an ok picture as long as you stacked a few images on top of each other and did a little processing work. Tonight I'm going to try and take one of the Andromeda galaxy...It's quite a bit bigger than this.

Cool! I bought an adapter that lines an iPhone up to the telescope- i will post some pictures soon.

I can't believe you took this with a 300mm lens! Looks like I need to upgrade my 105mm one.

To be fair the sensor on the camera is a little bit smaller than a standard APS C in most SLRs...that gives a slight boost in the zoom department since you are essentially cropping in a little more. I think the crop factor for an APS C is 1.6 and for my camera is a 2. So you get about 25% more zoom I guess.

Hmm... Seems I have a full frame sensor (1x), so I'm going to need a powerful lens. And they aren't cheap!

Yep. Definitely an advantage to a smaller camera. Its the reason that little compacts now have 16 x zoom lenses and why some digital camcorders have 80x zoom. You might look into some spotting scope solutions...Or usually there are mirror reflex lenses that aren't too expensive. The only real problem with mirror lenses is that many people don't like the bokeh that is produced by them (donut shaped) but for astrophotography...presumably you'll pretty much be focusing at infinity and it doesn't matter much. You could probably pick up a high quality 500mm mirror lens for a few hundred dollars... or a lower quality for less...

What type of telescope?

No telescope. This is just a long telephoto zoom lens (100-300mm). F 5.6 so nut nearly as big of an aperture as even a smallish telescope. I'm thinking of buying a small and light telescope and a light computerized equitorial mount. While a bigger scope might be nice...I really like the idea of portability.

Wow! I had no idea this was without a telescope!

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