M42/M43 – Its that time of year again

Its the end of the calendar year and Orion is high in the sky at a reasonably early hour for urban astronomy.  It clears the house around 9:00 so with sunset at 6:30 or so, you can have your high accuracy drift alignment completed by the time Orion is visible over the houses.  I took advantage of a very calm, very clear night and collected some 1,300 year old photons for your viewing pleasure.  In the end there will be a total of approximately 180 frames in five different lengths.  Five seconds, ten, 25, 45, and 60 seconds.  Exposures longer than 60 seconds were completely washed out with wide, flat histograms which suggests large areas that are over exposed.  It looks like each iteration of stacking will take about fourty-five minutes to an hour on my six-core computer so processing time will be a bit long on this one.  Cursory inspection of the first few raw frames showed some significant dust motes so I won’t pretend to get Hubble quality images out of this but I’ll do the best I can.

Leave a Reply