Monday, December 24, 2012

Nebulae in Orion

My wife surprised me with an early Christmas present: a new lens for the DSLR. It's a 75mm-300mm zoom lens, so basically it is a small telescope in my view. It's not perfectly suited for the task, but that doesn't stop me from trying to use it for imaging. Below is my first attempt at using it for a wide-angle shot:

Nebulae in Orion
This is a composite of several exposures ranging from 10 seconds to two minutes.

The Sword of Orion is prominent in the upper-right. This complex of nebulae is composed of Messier 42, Messier 43, and the Running Man Nebula.

The Horsehead Nebula is located left of center. The horse's head is actually a molecular cloud, or dark nebula, situated in front of an emission nebula from our persepective.

The Flame Nebula, an emission nebula, is located to the left of the Horsehead.

The three bright stars that form a line from the Flame/Horsehead to the upper-left are Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. They form the Belt of Orion.

Reflection nebulae Messier 78 is located in the lower-left of the image. I hope to get some better images of M78 in the near future.