Orion nebula

One of my goals for this year is to image the Orion nebula. Now that I am using my Celestron CGEM mount, it should be easier for me to do this – assuming there are clear skies with little light pollution.

Last year I did an attempt at imaging the Orion nebula without a tracking mount using my Olympus E-PL5, Olympus 75mm F1.8 lens at F2.0, high ISO and very short exposures, with the Astronomik CLS-CCD filter, all mounted on my Giottos tripod. This was my first attempt at imaging Orion in early 2014. This was fairly wide field and so not as much detail was captured; also I need to work on the white balance.

Orion nebula using Olympus E-PL5 + 75mm F1.8 lens (no tracking)
Orion nebula using Olympus E-PL5 + 75mm F1.8 lens (no tracking)

Recently, I managed to image the Orion nebula using the Astrotrac TT320X-AG tracking mount, Sony A6000 with 70-200mm F4 OSS lens and Olympus E-PL5 with Panasonic 100-300mm F4-5.6 lens. As I was using lower ISO and longer exposures, I managed to get more detail; unfortunately dewing set in and cut short my imaging session with the Olympus E-PL5.

My best Orion nebula image so far
Orion nebula with Sony A6000 @ 200mm (cropped image)
Uncropped Orion nebula Olympus E-PL5 + 100-300mm lens
Uncropped Orion nebula Olympus E-PL5 + 100-300mm lens @ 300mm

The last image is taken with my Sony A7R using Astrotech 8″ RC, Celestron CGEM mount at ISO 800 unguided, 1 min subs x 3 stacked in Deep Sky Stacker 3.3.4 (which allows for Sony raw files to be processed). I suspect with guiding I will get even better results.

Orion nebula using Sony A7R, Astrotech 8" RC mounted on Celestron CGEM
Orion nebula using Sony A7R, Astrotech 8″ RC mounted on Celestron CGEM (slightly cropped in as there was corner vignetting)

With more experience in imaging, I should be able to better these images easily, especially now that I am able to use raw files from Sony (and Olympus) cameras.

Boon