APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

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APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby APOD Robot » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:06 am

Image Great Orion Nebulae

Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion, also known as M42, is one of the most famous nebulas in the sky. The star forming region's glowing gas clouds and hot young stars are on the right in this sharp and colorful image that includes the smaller nebula M43 near center and dusty, bluish reflection nebulae NGC 1977 and friends on the left. Located at the edge of an otherwise invisible giant molecular cloud complex, these eye-catching nebulae represent only a small fraction of this galactic neighborhood's wealth of interstellar material. Within the well-studied stellar nursery, astronomers have also identified what appear to be numerous infant solar systems. The gorgeous skyscape spans nearly two degrees or about 45 light-years at the Orion Nebula's estimated distance of 1,500 light-years.

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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby Boomer12k » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:35 am

AWESOME PICTURE, of one of my favorite nebula!!!!!
I had been getting my 10" Meade LX200 GPS out in the early morning and taking pics of objects...this just blows my efforts clean out of the water!!!!! We have been having forest fires and the smoke is thick enough to block Jupiter and some bright stars, but not the Moon. I can barely make out the Big Dipper!!!

I use the Deep Sky Imager 2 ccd camera for my pictures. I do not get wide angle shots, I get just a small area, like The Trapezium area. Still an interesting area. I also get M43, and here is my BEST, MOST PROUD OF EFFORT TO DATE.....M43, AND the middle rift, with the (in this picture), the "left" of M42... This is about 32 or so pictures, with DRIZZLE MODE, for derotation, at about 2.8sec exposure. I had NEAR perfect focus as indicated in the software....decent for what it is....

My picture is BACKWARDS to this view..... I would KILL TO GET A SHOT AS GOOD AND WELL DEFINED AS THIS ONE!!!! IT IS ONE OF THE BEST I HAVE SEEN....AWESOME!!!! the other good one is on Wikipedia.

What kind of scope and camera set up are used for this type of photography?????

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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby Ann » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:41 am

I agree that this is an outstanding image. It's extremely beautiful. The colors are fantasti and the resolution extremely sharp, certainly for the equipment that was used. I get a feeling that I can see how, from the Trapezium and onward towards M43 and further on to the Running Man Nebula (to the left from the Trapezium in this image) low-mass new stars are just being churned out and then being blown away by the wind from the Trapezium region like fireflies carried away by the wind.

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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby nstahl » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:13 am

It is a beautiful picture and a great APOD. Well Done, everyone.
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby NoelC » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:45 am

Nice job, Jesús! A very pretty field, and you've controlled the very bright parts well, considering how deep you've gone around the edges. Personally, I like to see a hint of blue-green color right in the Trapezium area, but specific coloration isn't easy to nail down in astroimages.

Boomer12k, keep at it. It can take a long time to master everything required to get a good astroimage. The instrument you have is excellent (I have one just like it), but as you know you'll be taking closeups with your big scope. Jesús used a small (by comparison) refractor telescope (Takahashi FSQ 106) to capture today's wide field APOD. Here is an LX200 image of the Trapezium region I took about 5 years ago with my dSLR (stacked from several hours of exposures)...

Trapezium_Region.jpg


-Noel
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby owlice » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:28 am

I'm delighted this wonderful image is today's APOD! Congratulations, Jesús and Maritxu!
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby Case » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:08 am

NoelC wrote:Here is an LX200 image of the Trapezium region I took about 5 years ago with my dSLR...
Attachment:Trapezium_Region.jpg
Maybe it's because of the FOV, but the red straight line really pops out, which I haven't noticed before. Thanks for sharing.

M42 images often look quite vale pinkish, but this APOD has a nice red tone there. Would that be because of the added H-alpha? Great work.
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby Indigo_Sunrise » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:13 am

I agree with everyone else - this is an absolutely gorgeous image!

From what I gather on Jesús' site, this image was taken in Feb of this year. Great viewing of Orion, for sure!
Though I'm always happy when it gets toward fall here in the U.S., because Orion becomes viewable in the mornings - which is when I do most of my sky viewing! (And fewer bugs are a plus, too. Or is it less bugs....? :lol: )

Anyway, great job Jesús & Maritxu!


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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby orin stepanek » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:00 pm

Great picture! 8-) :D
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby Chris Peterson » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:26 pm

Boomer12k wrote:AWESOME PICTURE, of one of my favorite nebula!!!!!
I had been getting my 10" Meade LX200 GPS out in the early morning and taking pics of objects...this just blows my efforts clean out of the water!!!!! We have been having forest fires and the smoke is thick enough to block Jupiter and some bright stars, but not the Moon. I can barely make out the Big Dipper!!!

I use the Deep Sky Imager 2 ccd camera for my pictures. I do not get wide angle shots, I get just a small area, like The Trapezium area. Still an interesting area. I also get M43, and here is my BEST, MOST PROUD OF EFFORT TO DATE.....M43, AND the middle rift, with the (in this picture), the "left" of M42... This is about 32 or so pictures, with DRIZZLE MODE, for derotation, at about 2.8sec exposure. I had NEAR perfect focus as indicated in the software....decent for what it is....

The APOD image was taken with very modest equipment. Your SCT will allow shorter exposures (or more signal per exposure) than the much smaller scope used for today's image. So what's the trick? First, focus. Despite what your software was reporting, your focus could be better. If you have a motorized focuser, autofocus software is best. Otherwise, you might want to look at making a focusing mask. Second, tracking. Your stars are slightly out-of-round, which indicates a tracking problem. You need perfect tracking for your exposures, which with this object could be up to around ten minutes. Perfect tracking requires that your scope mount be properly balanced, and it generally requires a separate guiding camera. Third, collimation. Yours may be fine (the tracking and focus issues could be hiding problems), but look at this. SCTs are frequently not collimated as well as they could be.

Once these mechanical issues are under control, the key to a good image is getting enough signal. That means lots of exposure time- an hour or more for sure with this object. And make no mistake: despite its brightness (which is one reason beginning imagers often gravitate towards it), M42 is one of the most difficult objects to image. That's because of the huge dynamic range required. There are parts of this object that will saturate in less than a minute, and other parts that require hours of exposure to get good S/N. So the best images of M42 are collected using a wide range of subexposure durations, which are then cleverly combined using fairly advanced image processing techniques.

My advice? Ignore M42 for a while. Turn your attention to smaller, less dynamic objects (M51, M57, M104, M16, IC434). Develop your skills with these much easier (but no less pleasing) objects, and come back to M42 later.

Also, while imaging can allow you to do some amazing things under relatively bright skies, the best images are still made when the sky is dark. If you can't get to a darker site, make sure that you at least collect your deepest subexposures when there is no Moon interference. In areas with light pollution, the skies are often darkest in the hours before dawn, since that's when more of the lighting is turned off.
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby paulobao » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:06 pm

Congs Maritxu (do you remember the 13 asteroids thing...?).
All you need is to make an HDR to get the full dynamic range.

Here a pic I made in 2009 with a FS102 and a Canon 40D. (unfortunatelly I could not go further because the clouds and I only got 8 subs of each ...from 15s to 360s and only 5 subs of 480s). Then I sold my 40D and now it is impossible to use the QSI532WS to make this (it will bloom all over!).

Regards,
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby Wolf Kotenberg » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:49 pm

just when you sit down with an ice cold one to allow the awesomness of this APOD to sink in, this happens
You have requested to receive a Daily Digest e-mail from NASA.


Message: 1
From: NASA News Services <nasa_subscriptions@service.govdelivery.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 09:17:52 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: New Supernova Remnant Lights Up



New Supernova Remnant Lights Up
Sun, 11 Sep 2011 23:00:00 -0500

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers are witnessing the unprecedented transition of a supernova to a supernova remnant, where light from an exploding star in a neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, reached Earth in February 1987. Named Supernova 1987A, it was the closest supernova explosion witnessed in almost 400 years. The supernova's close proximity to Earth allows astronomers to study it in detail as it evolves. Now, the supernova debris, which has faded over the years, is brightening. This means that a different power source has begun to light the debris. The debris of SN 1987A is beginning to impact the surrounding ring, creating powerful shock waves that generate X-rays observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Those X-rays are illuminating the supernova debris and shock heating is making it glow in visible light. Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble telescope has provided a continuous record of the changes in SN 1987A. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and P. Challis (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby NoelC » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:46 pm

Case wrote:
NoelC wrote:Here is an LX200 image of the Trapezium region I took about 5 years ago with my dSLR...
Attachment:Trapezium_Region.jpg
Maybe it's because of the FOV, but the red straight line really pops out, which I haven't noticed before. Thanks for sharing.

You're welcome. Usually images of this area are more deeply exposed, simply because the Trap area is just about the brightest DSO up there, so the striking contrast may not be as visible.

Here's a Trap area-excerpt from the famous and much more deeply exposed Hubble image of same, oriented and cropped the same as my image above (and at the same angle as today's APOD). You can see the same line of clouds in it, though the Hubble color assignments are a bit different than mine, which I would consider visual color.

HubbleM42Excerpt.jpg


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Getting oriented

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:55 pm

Please forgive my ignorance. I'm trying to match this awesome picture up with what I see in the eyepiece of my small telescope. Are the four bright stars on the right of this image the trapezium?

I am not a photographer, but I appreciate reading about the subtleties and work involved in making such images.
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby BMAONE23 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:59 pm

Fantastic image and interesting color palette
Looks more like the Heart & Soul nebula than the Heart & Soul nebula
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Re: Getting oriented

Postby Chris Peterson » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:01 pm

Anthony Barreiro wrote:Please forgive my ignorance. I'm trying to match this awesome picture up with what I see in the eyepiece of my small telescope. Are the four bright stars on the right of this image the trapezium?

The Trapezium isn't fully resolved in this wide field shot. It's here:

trap.jpg
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby Boomer12k » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:19 pm

NoelC wrote:Nice job, Jesús! A very pretty field, and you've controlled the very bright parts well, considering how deep you've gone around the edges. Personally, I like to see a hint of blue-green color right in the Trapezium area, but specific coloration isn't easy to nail down in astroimages.

Boomer12k, keep at it. It can take a long time to master everything required to get a good astroimage. The instrument you have is excellent (I have one just like it), but as you know you'll be taking closeups with your big scope. Jesús used a small (by comparison) refractor telescope (Takahashi FSQ 106) to capture today's wide field APOD. Here is an LX200 image of the Trapezium region I took about 5 years ago with my dSLR (stacked from several hours of exposures)...

Trapezium_Region.jpg


-Noel


THANKS, Noel. I appreciate your advice. Your picture looks very much like my pictures of M42, when I just shoot it. I use JPG setting with my DSI 2. FITS setting will take a 24bit pic, in 3 images, 1 red, 1 green and 1 blue. But I found it a PAIN to load them up, but I did notice I got TRUER colors. I shot a Globular cluster and the stars were blue and white, and way different from the colors of a normal screen image. My Meade also has the UHTC. (I sprung for the extra coating too). I guess I will have to check out other cameras, but they can be expensive for me.

CHRIS, Thanks for your comments and advice also. I will look into some of your suggestions.

I do have the micro focuser, it really helps!!!!

I am just an amateur. It took me a few years to figure out I needed to take dark frames to get rid of the speckle artifacts. I had to go through the CD videos again and again. At the moment, I am having trouble with the scope not finding objects. It was doing really well. Maybe I don't have the correct star in the alignment process, but even the FIRST star can be way off... I reset the date, time, etc...maybe it is just showing signs of wear, I have had the scope since 2004 or 2005. It could probably use a "tune up". I am sure it could use a Wedge, a Field De-rotator, also a view flipper for camera/eyepiece selection. Anyway, thanks to the both of you!!!!

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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby Boomer12k » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:23 pm

To me the M42 part looks like "A Magician, on the left, opening a portal to another dimension to our right." Maybe we should rename it "The Magician's Apprentice" or something. looks like he has his arms out and has "balls of fire" in his hands....cooooooollllllll.....

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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby Chris Peterson » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:31 pm

Boomer12k wrote:At the moment, I am having trouble with the scope not finding objects. It was doing really well. Maybe I don't have the correct star in the alignment process, but even the FIRST star can be way off... I reset the date, time, etc...maybe it is just showing signs of wear, I have had the scope since 2004 or 2005. It could probably use a "tune up". I am sure it could use a Wedge, a Field De-rotator, also a view flipper for camera/eyepiece selection. Anyway, thanks to the both of you!!!!

Meade SCTs almost always benefit from being tuned up. From the factory, they tend to have problems. Open the gear housings, clean out the old grease (and usually, metal chips) and replace it with high quality stuff. Test and adjust the worm tension. You MUST have your scope mounted equatorially, which in this case means adding a wedge. It is not possible to get beyond the most basic images if you are in altaz mode, because your subexposures will always be too short, and you'll never reach a reasonable S/N for most objects. You don't need (or want) a field rotator, and I'd advise against using a flip mirror, as it will probably introduce more problems than it solves. Consider a software tool like TPoint or MaxPoint to improve your pointing accuracy- either one will guarantee that your targets are near the center of the field after a goto.
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Re: Getting oriented

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:32 pm

Thanks Chris for your quick and helpful response. The picture makes more sense now!
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby Elowan » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:47 am

This is the most incredibly beautiful image of outer space that I have ever seen. My granddaughter freaked when she saw it.

Wowser! :shock:
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Re: APOD: Great Orion Nebulae (2011 Sep 13)

Postby astrogades » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:16 am

Thank you all!

We still do not believe it was a dream we never thought to reach the level seen staff spent. From now on, Tuesdays and thirteen have ceased to have bad luck for us.


It's time to thank not only to fellow members that we make all this possible, also all with your efforts and work have taught us what little we know.

For that, thank you all for the comments and share our joy with you all.

Jesus and Maritxu :)

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