Photo of the Week for December 8, 2017
Few would dispute that the glorious Orion Nebula is the winter sky’s finest deep-sky object. Catalogued as M42, it’s simply an amazing sight whether you view it in a big backyard telescope, or in everyday binoculars. Indeed, it’s little wonder that Ken Hewitt-White included M42 in his inaugural Binocular Sky column, which appears in the January/February issue of SkyNews, on page 26.
M42 is also a popular target for astrophotographers, but one with its fair share of challenges thanks to the nebula’s tremendous luminosity range. From the bright region surrounding the Trapezium stars at the object’s core, to the faint wisps of nebulosity adorning the outer edges, it’s not easy to capture every detail. And yet, Haneytown, New Brunswick, imager Scott Champion has done just that with the image presented here.
Scott captured this Orion Nebula portrait with a Explore Scientific ES 102ED apochromatic refractor telescope (fitted with a Stellarvue 0.8× focal reducer for a working f-ratio of f/5.6) riding on a iOptron CEM60 equatorial mount. He used a Atik 383L+ monochromatic CCD camera shooting through Baader Planetarium filters to acquire a total of 124 minutes exposure data for this image.