Into Orion

On returning home after a pleasant evening out listening to some live music a sparkling sky was too much of a temptation to resist opening the observatory despite the hard frost and the late hour. This after midnight session had brought Orion in range of the scope with its wealth of potential targets. My first attempt was to aim at Zeta Orionis (Alnitak) to see what turned up of the nearby Flame Nebula (NGC2024). The resulting image initially seems to indicate that this isn't a very good target for my unmodified camera under an MK sky though I will try some longer exposures. I hope a bit more playing around in Photoshop will improve the image but it looks as though the adjacent Horsehead Nebula is going to be difficult with my current camera set-up. Details: 7/12/08. 10" f4.3 Newt. prime focus. 450D@iso400. 10x 150second exposures in Deep Sky Stacker & CS2.

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