Orion Nebula (Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976)  with 1,350 light years  is the closest region of a massive star formation.  M42 is undoubtedly one of the most popular deep sky targets. Whether you image through a telescope or a camera lens, it can even be captured even under city conditions by anyone who knows where to point their camera.

I did one without the use of  no light pollution filter and with a Canon 60Da DSLR and my 8″ my Newton.

  • Don’t use light pollution as an excuse – image anyway.
  • Research the target you’re shooting, find out what other imaging techniques have worked well for others. In M42’s case it’s varied exposures to retain detail in the bright areas.
  • Gather enough data, as much as you can! Every single additional sub exposure helps to increase SNR and allows you to bring out more detail. If the imaging conditions are right, take advantage of it, sleep can wait.
  • Don’t expect miracles from post-processing! Superior processing skills can make images from most modest photographic equipment look better, but never perfect.

M42 is a glorious mix of diffuse nebulae and one of the the brightest nebulae in the sky. It’s a wonderful target for novice and experienced imagers, as there’s always more detail to find. Is is furthermore an ideal first light object in a hurry.

I wanted to test my my Christmas present , an ASA 2″ corrector and Reducer 0,73x  making my Newton modestly faster (f/4.38). I onlyhad time to shoot 6 exposure series’ of 5 seconds. I think I could have further retained more detail had I shot 30 or 45-second exposures for integration as well. Similarly, had I added 5 or 6 minute longer-exposure subs to this, the other faint data would have shown through. In the final image, however, you will notice that some dark nebula does show up.

Only rough alignment of HEQ6 Mount, Backyard Munich.

  • DateTimeOriginal 2014:12:23 23:54:28
  • Newton –  8″ f/6 Orion UK Suprax with
  • ASA 2″ Newton corrector and Reducer 0,73x  making as faster (f/4.38) my Christmas present.
  • Canon 60Da
  • 6 x ExposureTime 5 sec. Darks, Bias, no Flats
  • ISO 2000
  • Postprocessing PixInsight Core Ripley (x64)  Pleiades Astrophoto

Big size download here.

With later M42 tries I used the HDRcomposition function in PixInsight to preserve the inner core of the structure.