Orion Nebula Detail (HD) by rwwright ()
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This is the last of a series of Orion Nebula images. The series represents a couple years of learning to do Astrophotography. Only one small thing is wrong with this image and that is that the stars are not all perfectly round. I have a problem with the scope balance while guiding. And I can probably fix the stars with Corel or Photoshop, but I am happy with it the way it is. Enjoy! Next, as time permits, I will be looking at other objects far and near and if any of them look cool, I will post them here. God created the heavens as a tapastry for us to marvel at. It is indeed a wonder.
The term HD is for High Definition or High Dynamic range (I have heard both but the latter is more correct). In this case it is a technique using an FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) filter to compress the light extremes so that images can be viewed with their full dynamic range on computer screens and on paper. Photoshop CS2 and CS3 have HD capability built in, but I do not know how this technique compares - I have PS Elements and a very old version of photoshop.
This image was captured with a Canon 20D camera attached to a Meade 10 inch LX200GPS scope with a 3 inch Celestron ED scope attached to do keep the sky still while the camera shot 40 images of varying exposures from 30 seconds to 5 minutes (10 each).
I used programs called Nebulosity and PHD to control the camera exposure and the telescope. This is called guiding. On the Celestron 3 inch scope, I used a Meade DSI (Deep Space Imager) CCD camera as the camera to keep track of the sky movement. The PHD software takes the image from the DSI and adjusts the scope so the sky stays still for the Canon DSLR. If I need a wider image, I can switch the cameras on the scopes or even use the cameras own lenses (instead of the 3 inch scope).
This is not an easy thing to do and unless there is significant disposable income and time it is not recommended. With technology it is getting cheaper to get excellent images with smaller less expensive equipment. Another aspect of it is that no one wants to participate.
So I hope that there are those who look and enjoy the images and maybe dream of a way to get out there and visit.
Image Comments (16)
I have been fascinated with the heavens. Many years ago, I gazed in wonder at the density of the milky way...now with city lights civilization creeping into all corners, the milky way is almost invisible to the naked eye. This is a (dare I say it?) stellar performance. You have done a fabulous job of learning these techniques, I understand none of it but I envy you for being able to not only understand it, but do it so magnificently.
This is my second time veiwing this, and again I am speechless. This is just amazing. A gorgeous image. And so much work! But obviously worth it! This definately deserves mention in LWITG(congrats). And I couldn't agree more with you about the stars and heavens being there "as a tapastry for us to marvel at." Sometimes I wish I had the equipment and skill to take shots like this, but I don't think I have the patience... Oh well. Thanks for sharing.