M42 Orion Nebula

Orion is finally back out and there was a break in the El Nino clouds, so I finally made an attempt to shoot the Orion Nebula (M42).

  • Canon 6D
  • 24-105mm F/4 @ 105mm F/5.6
  • 17 2s Exposures @ 3200ISO
  • No Darks or Flats

This was my first attempt at stacking so I decided to start off simple and do only light exposures. The light pollution in my back yard is horrible thanks to the Wal-Mart right around the corner so my expectations weren’t very high. I also didn’t even other with the tracker since the pollution makes it difficult to get longer exposures anyway.

This is a single light frame out of the camera:


As you can see it’s not very exciting, and I was starting to feel a little disappointed, but if you zoom in you can see there is some data there! Here is a crop of just the nebula

Single frame crop

I tried stacking in Deep Sky Stacker, but all I get is a horrible result that I can’t seem to edit. I still need to figure out what i’m doing wrong


But I decided to try out stacking by hand in Photoshop again (like I did with Jupiter). After playing with levels and curves (I have no idea what I’m doing) I was able to get a pretty awesome result.

17 2s exposures
Stacked 17 2s exposures

It was a tedious process stackingĀ 17 light frames in photoshop, so I definitely need to figure out what the heck is wrong with DSSĀ but I’m very happy with a first attempt here. I can’t wait to do more.