The Orion Nebula

SteveTrucker2             Homepage

Some of you readers are aware that I have been working as a Telescope Operator at the George Observatory at Brazos Bend State Park.  There are three domed instruments that are open to the public for viewing on Saturday nights – weather permitting.  I get to operate the smallest to these — a 14 inch Schmidt Cassegrain instrument.   For non-Astronomy Nerds, the 14 inch number refers to the diameter of the mirror that is inside the big, black tube.

BTW: Brazos Bend State Park, where the George Observatory is located, was closed for flooding until early July.  It re-opened just briefly but is now closed for long-overdue renovation.  So, this activity of mine is “on hold”.  I volunteered over at the Museum of Natural History – more about that later

SchmidtCassigrain14inch
Fourteen inch Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope — George Observatory, West Dome

We might have forty or more visitors on an average night, but even so there are occasional intervals when I can make some photographs.  There was one night when the atmospheric conditions made the “seeing” miserable, but I still managed to catch some images of Saturn.  Most detail of the planet and rings was lost, but a couple of satellites were captured in one long time-exposure where the planet and rings were overexposed.  You might need to zoom to see the moons.

SaturnSatellitesCu
Overexposed Saturn with two satellites

More recently,  on a night with better seeing, the Orion Nebula was captured in a series of different exposure times.  I include two below.

Orion10s2
Orion Nebula — 10 second exposure
Orion20s
Orion Nebula — 20 second exposure

There are methods, these days, to stack (combine) multiple images and get far more impressive results.  I am looking in to that.

Stay Tuned.

Steve

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