M42 is a glorious mix of diffuse nebula and one of the the brightest nebulae in the sky. It's a wonderful target for novice to experienced imagers as there's always more data and detail to find. It's easy to capture - but difficult to master. This is my 5th go at imaging M42, it feels like l I'm coming full circle as this was the target that inspired me to purchase by current Officina Stellare APO.
www.flickr.com/photos/astro-tanja/8206842708/ (imaged through my 80mm Celestron Guide Scope)
www.flickr.com/photos/astro-tanja/8103586461/ (Imaged with a C11' SCT)
www.flickr.com/photos/astro-tanja/8103642749/ (comparisons since my 1st ever imaging of the target)
The choice of 2 exposure settings was to capture more feint outer detail with the longer exposure, and shorter exposures to maintain the inner core. After calibration the 2 masters were integrated using the HDRcomposition function in PixInsight. It's an easy method, making me wish I shot even more data for longer subs to get more detail in the surrounding feint nebulosity.
This target was imaged from the Johannesburg light polluted suburbs, with no light pollution filter. I spent 2 nights on this to acquire more data so that I can keep ISO lower.
Excited to see if next season will bring more improvements.
Total: 196min (3:16hrs)
40x 240sec ISO400
36x 60sec ISO400
Officina Stellare HiperAPO
Celestron Advance VX
Guiding: SSAG & PHD
Processing: PixInsight and PhotoShop