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Orion belt with “Flame” and “Horse Head”
 It is virtually impossible to find a deep-sky object, which remains out of sight of amateur astronomers these days. While everything on the sky is already imaged many times, taking astrophotography ourselves brings joy and satisfaction, when mysteries of the universe reveal themselves during processing and stacking of acquired images.

Orion belt and iconic “Flame” and dark “Horse Head” nebulae definitely belong to often imaged objects. This time we present image by Peng Tanyaphat done exceptionally well. What makes image “exceptionally good”? We agree this depends on personal preferences, but for us such image has to be precisely focused and tracked with pinpoint dim stars and nicely round bright ones. Exposure time should be long enough to reveal even the darkest portions of the nebulosity, small globules of interstellar gas and other details. On the other side, brightness scale should not be over-stretched, making the darkest portions of the image visually as bright as the really brightest parts of the nebula – people viewing the image should be able to understand which part of the nebula is in reality bright and which is dim.

This image was acquired with G3-16200 camera on Takahashi FSQ106EDX telescope with 0.73QE reducer. Image was acquired through narrow-band Hα filter and red, green and blue filters. Total exposure times was 20 hours.

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