Winter is coming and this also means that Orion the Hunter is again showing up on in the sky.
After three weeks of mostly clouds skies I got my APO Refractor out to do some imaging. In the meantime I also learned that ma problems with guiding and blurry stars also seem to come from very poor seeing over Innsbruck.
The following images have a sharpness value (FWHM) of 7 arcseconds for stars. Astrophotographers in better regions of the world don't bother shooting if this value goes over 4. Looking back at old images I found out that the sharpest I got from my Garden location was 3 arcseconds.
But anyway here are the three images I processed from this session. The pictures were done in true RGB color.
The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated in the Milky Way, being south of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 ± 20 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. It has a mass of about 2000 times the mass of the Sun. Older texts frequently refer to the Orion Nebula as the Great Nebula in Orion or the Great Orion Nebula.
I decided to give the North American Nebula a try with my new APO.
First setup was my unmodified EOS M3 with the 480 mm APO and the flattener from my light polluted garden. The nebula was close to the zenith which makes the sky a little bit darker. Total integration time was about hour.
The signal was really weak. Below is the result after pulling all my post processing skills.
Next night I tried it with my Baader H-alpha filter. As my current setup for the APO does not work with flattener AND filter, I had to make the pictures without the flattener which is painfully visible at stars in the corners. The image below has almost 2 hours of integration time.
Again it shows the bad sensitivity of the unmodified EOS M3 to H-alpha frequencies.
I'm now really considering getting one of the dedicated CCD cameras, even if you've to sell your house to get one.