Saturday, April 6, 2024


 A few weeks ago I captured this image one night.  Over several days I worked on processing it because it is an image you can't just look up into the sky and see.  This is the Flame Nebula which is near the left most star, Alnitak, in the Belt of Orion.  Below the Flame Nebula, the Horsehead Nebula can also be seen, sort of.  😉 This is a stack of 15 images and I learned while doing this that I need a lot more.  😁  The Flame I was able to bring out fairly well with processing but the Horsehead is fainter and did not work as well.  With more images to work with you capture more and more light and detail.  I will try this one again next winter when Orion is higher in the sky again.  It's getting dark way too late these days too which makes it difficult as well.


  1. Very nice Shelly, You certainly don't see that with the naked eye
    I assume you need the stack as the depth of stars is too deep to get them all in sharp focus in a single shot?
    This was using your telescope I think I remember your saying you had?
    What was the shutter speed?
    Do you have to account for the motion of the stars between the shutter releases?

    1. Thank you very much Jim. It's not the stars so much as detail of the nebula. The more photos you get to work with, the more detail you can eek out of the image. No, for this I used my camera with a 300mm lens. It has an astrotracer feature so I can shoot long exposures without getting blurry stars. I was doing 8 second exposures at 6400 iso for this one. You have to readjust in between a few sets of images and then there are astro stacking programs that do the actual aligning. I use Deep Sky Stacker. It does an amazing job for me.