M42/M43, then and now

A friend of mine, Kush, has recently discovered the addiction know as astrophotography.   He posted a picture of M42/M43 that made me think of my first images of that target and how I’ve progressed since then.   Here we go!


Circa 2004:

Meade SN6

Meade DSI Pro (Mono camera, LRGB filters)



Dec 30, 2008:
Meade SN6

Canon EOS Rebel (300D)



Jan 20, 2013

Meade SN6

Canon 20D (I think)

The Great Orion Nebula


Dec 16, 2016

Celestron EdgeHD8 (0.7x Focal Reducer)

Orion StarShoot Pro CCD (Color)


M13 – Hercules Cluster

Short and sweet while waiting for M27 to transit.



14 x 2min

EdgeHD 8″


0.7x Focal Reducer

Hutech IDAS-LPS light pollution filter (with diminishing returns now that wideband LED street lamps are becoming popular)

Messier 27 – some good data FINALLY!

FINALLY got some good data on the Dumbell Nebula (Messier 27). The last few days have been clear and calm-ish but at night it has still been pretty turbulent. I intended to just knock the cobwebs out since I haven’t been able to use the scope for a few months and the first few nights were exactly that. Setup was straight forward, do some ancient photon collection, take the glass and silicon inside in the morning. Wash, rinse, repeat. Last night I was going to take the whole thing down and get a good night’s sleep but it was close to calm all day so I held off until after sunset to check conditions. I’ve seen better but it has generally been much, much worse. Throwing caution to the wind I set the glass back out on the mount, wasted time until my target got where I wanted it and set the software in motion. I knew it could run all night so I turned in. I checked the data this morning and I was very excited about the quality I was seeing. This is the result of 4 hours of exposure time and several pieces of very clever software.




Celestron Advanced VX
Celestron EdgeHD 8″

QHY 8L cooled CCD @ -15C
Hutech IDAS-LPR light pollution filter

48 subframes of 5 minutes