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Why do we all seem to start with........

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M42. ??

If you're anything like me, then it's the only one you know..............

Anyroad, it was pretty clear last monday, I was in a dark location, and slightly elevated. Only problem was that I was in the middle of a forest and there were fluorescent lights dotted all over, and it was fairly windy. Oh, and Polaris was way behind the trees.

But there was a window in the trees, so I popped all the stuff that had just arrived a couple of days before onto the scope and took a couple of snaps.

Orion Nebula first, simply because I knew where to find it, and then moving the telescope up a bit caught another little blobby nebula which turned out to be near the flame nebula and horsehead. Actually I'm starting to wonder if Orion hasn't paid the installments to an interstellaer irish gyspy loan shark. Why else would they be leaving horses heads on his doorstep?

Anyway, these pics are unedited, straight form the camera. Im not certain the focus was spot on, had no idea what ISO or exposure duration to use so I went with about 60 secs or so.

Kit is thus; HEQ5, C9.25, 400D (not modified).

I'm glad I got at least something, as there were 15 other people between our two villas who thought that I must be absolutely insane to be out till 1.30 in freezing temperatures when I could have been getting drunk, hottubbing, sauna/steam rooming. Thinking about it, they probably had a point :D

Anyway, here's a couple.



So,two pics. At the current rate of expenditure they've cost me around a grand and a half each......so don't break them :rolleyes:



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When I downloaded your pics TJ, It took a hell of a long time. The images were spilling over the edge of my screen on to the carpet.

I save them in Photoshop, and opened them in there. M42 is a very common target, and it is not hard to figure why.

This Image of yours has done it justice, It is exceptional, so either you are a ringer, or you have a gift for this lark.

The image of the flame too is quite good, although I could not make out the Horsehead. Could be may Lappy screen though.

Anyway, you are on your way to getting some reward for your investment, and I can see the Hot Tub taking a back seat from now on. :D

Well Done though.


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Thanks for the nice comments. They really are just about as close as you can get to point and click, so I'm glad they turned out. I just dug out the exposure times.


ISO 1600

Exp. 64secs

Flame etc

ISO 1600

104 secs

Tracking was just the mount on its own, no guiding. Initial pics were interesting as I had polar aligned on Kocab and not Polaris........took me a while to figure that out!

I have just bought a cable to link the PC to the camera, so that should help with eliminating a bit of wobble I think at exposure time. This pic was taken with a handheld remote shutter cable, but it was hard to put it down while exposing in the woods (sounds dodgy) so I think it may have contributed to a little vibration. Also the camera strap was on and blowing around which I guess didnt help. If I had thought to take my silenced .22LR I could have eliminated about 80% of the ambient light from the fluorescents too.

Question, what colour temp is best to use? Daylight? I experimented with several, and while some helped to accentuate the red, they also seemed to amplify the noise. I have decided NOT to modify the canon just yet, as I use it for family snaps etc too.

Thanks for looking.


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Fantastic image TJ, had a look at the Horsey shot. I've lways wanted to image that - was going to go for that tonight as it happened, but cliuds decided to get in the way!

I couldn't see the horsey, till I had a play - this has brought the horsey out but hasn't done anything else for your image - sorry mate for screwing up your first horse!!!


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I don't know about always starting with M42, as most of us never actually finish with it. :rolleyes:

I image it every year, and never tire of it.

Nice going with your own M42 images, and I bet they won't be your last ones either. :rolleyes:

BTW, in the interest of not doing any further damage to Ron's carpet, could you make your images no larger than 800x600. :D


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