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This is the Orion Nebula, a diffuse nebula, meaning that it is wide spread without definite borders, located in the constellation Orion roughly 1,350 light years from Earth, as photographed from my pool deck. This nebula is both an emission nebula and a reflection nebula. This nebula is an active stellar nursery, giving birth to new stars. It is the closest active stellar nursery to our planet.


You can find this object in the night sky by finding the constellation Orion. The three stars that make Orion’s belt are easily spotted. Next, find the three dimmer stars that come from the bottom of Orion’s belt at about 45 degrees. This is Orion’s Sword. The middle star in Orion’s Sword is, actually, The Great Orion Nebula. You can see it easily with the unaided eye, even in some minor light pollution.

Equipment Used

Telescope: William Optics Z103 Refractor

Mount: iOptron CEM60

Camera: ZWO ASI 1600MM Pro

Autoguider: ZWO Off Axis Guider

Guide Camera: Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2

Focal Reducer/Field Flattener: William Optics .80x Reducer/Flattener


This image was shot with a monochrome camera using Luminance, Red, Green, and Blue filters to capture the natural color of the starfield around the nebula and the nebula itself. I used narrow band filters, Ha, Oiii, and Sii to capture details of the nebula. I used a series of 3 minute exposures for the broadband shots and 5 minute exposures for the narrow band nebula photos. I used a series of 10 second exposures to capture the details in the core (The Trapezium) of the nebula without overexposing and blowing it out. The total image time in the final picture is 14.25 hours.


If you like this photograph and would like to see how it was done, go to the video section on the home page to see the documentation video of how I photographed the Orion Nebula.


The Orion Nebula

  • If you order a metal print of The Orion Nebula, you can choose the size, surface, and finish of your picture.

    Canvas Prints come in only one finish (Flat/Matte) and one hanging option, so you will not be prompted for those options.

    Acrylic prints come with only one finish and one hanging option (French Cleat -- because of their heavier weight).

    You can order several different sizes of Metal, Canvas, and Acrylic Prints.

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