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  • Writer's pictureAmir

Orion nebula here.. Orion nebula there.. Orion Nebula everywhere! This is the time of the year where you see a ton of shots of this fantastic deep sky object, simply because it's the brightest deep sky object there is and extremely easy for beginners to capture. It's also a relatively close deep sky object compared to others, and for this reason we get a spectacular wealth of colors. No need for the Hubble Palette narrowband for this target! True color captures are really nice, with a variety of pinks, blues, reds.

My capture of M42 is a deep one, focusing on both the really dark nebulosity surrounding the main target, and the core itself, also called the "trapezium". With today's cameras, it's very difficult to capture both the core and the surrounding nebulosity because the center is extremely bright. In essence, I executed a bracketed exposure, with one set of exposures collecting 300s and another set collecting only 15-second exposures. Combined, you can have best of both worlds :)

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

After several nights of bad weather and some challenging seeing conditions, I was finally able to put together a seemingly decent mosaic of m31. This was my first mosaic and I found it to be quite challenging. Color balancing and stitching the mosaic took the biggest chunk of time processing this beast of an image. While I had initially planned to make an HaRGB image, I ended up with a simpler RGB image due to the complex method used to stitch together the panels. I think I will revisit this image once better processing software becomes available for stitching mosaics.

  • Writer's pictureAmir

Fall is when we see a LOT of pictures of M31 - Andromeda Galaxy circulating around the internet. That's because it's a fantastic beginner object to capture: It's bright, it's HUGE, and high in the sky in the northern hemisphere. To capture M31 on my rig.. there are a few technical challenges. The main one being my scopes focal length of 840mm means it would only capture a small segment of M31. The Starizona Apex-L 0.65x reducer helps with this greatly. It brings down the focal length (zooms out) to 546mm and it also reduced the aperture from f/7 down to f/4.55.. which means, much more light going in the scope. It's a fantastic piece of hardware, and provides a totally flat field when used correctly: Starizona Apex-L

However, even at 546mm, this monstrous galaxy is still too big to capture in the field of view. So I have to resort to Mosaics, essentially capturing 3 shots and stitching them together via software. I do like this method, because you end up with a really high-res image and much better quality in the end.

Here's a small, very minimally processed preview of the first frame.. and just waiting on weather improvements to capture the rest.

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