Sunday night I took advantage of clear skies, and having Monday off to head up north, to get some shots of Orion. I intend at some point to get Messier 1, but it will take more planning since I’ll have to drag the 9.25″ out, and it’s a bit of a pain in the ass. Actually it’s a giant pain in the ass.
These were taken from Carden Alvar Provincial Park, where there is little to no traffic to interrupt imaging. I had completely forgotten about the Quadrantid meteor shower, and would have brought a second camera, but I saw only one in the couple hours I was there. It was -15°C; fortunately there was no wind. Seeing was pretty good, and the SQM was 21.17. Most of the snow we got was gone, so it was darker than I thought it was going to be. The Kp was 4, but I didn’t see any northern lights. The Coyotes were out, and howling at one point.
These are unguided images using a Canon 90D, a Canon 300 f/4 lens, and a Star Adventurer. Subs are 20-30 seconds each, and ISO ranged between 400 and 25600.
The Horsehead and Flame Nebula
M42 can be tricky because it has such a high dynamic range. The Trapezium (an open cluster in the heart of the Orion Nebula) is extremely bright, and explains the various exposures. The images are stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, and the edited in Photoshop until I get bored.
Frostbite is a concern at such low temperatures. I’d recommend wearing gloves when setting up, and taking down your equipment. Touching any metal can be pretty painful even for short periods of time.