M42 – The Orion Nebula – Jan 2013
This image was taken in January 2013. Originally, I thought I’d lost the original RAW files when a hard disk failed, but I managed to get them back, and produced this. It’s around 12x 60sec subs minutes of data at ISO at ISO1600, taken unguided with the Skywatcher 200P on the HEQ5 mount.
Strictly speaking there are actually at least three deep sky objects visible here – M42 itself, M43 (the little pink blob just above the main nebula), and also NGC1977 and NCG1973, separated out from the main nebula, nearer the top of the image. NGC1975 is also there, but I haven’t managed to capture it in this image as it’s so much dimmer. Below is a plate solved version of the image (courtesy of Astrobin). There are so many objects in the field of view, it’s actually almost impossible to read them all!
This is one I’ll be returning to again and again to refine my methods. It’s surprisingly challenging to do well due to the fact that the central core stars tend to become over-exposed if you’re not careful.