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Orion 400hr Mega Mosaic
Now in the Zoomify pane, the 400 hour Orion Mosaic I started in 2011 can be enjoyed at 40% full size.

I began by taking a 4 pane mosaic in Luminance, Red, Green, Blue, and Hydrogen Alpha, of the Sword of Orion. The region including the 3 Belt stars, Flame Nebula, Horsehead, and Orion Nebula and ended up as a 56 hour 4 pane mosaic.

I was able to extend my stay in Spain, and I decided to try to image the main asterism, that is the "X" of Orion so visible in the Winter sky. In the Winter of 2012 /2013 I began by shooting in Black and White (Luminance) taking 30 panes at 530mm with my Takahashi FSQ106N, and Full frame CCD cooled camera. Each frame had 4 hours of data, totaling 120 hours.

I left Spain in the Summer of 2013, where I re-located my Telescope, Camera, and Mount to Olly’s Gite in Provence France. After upgrading our equipment to run a Dual Mounted Takahasi set up, I asked Olly to collaborate in the Orion Project with the RGB and remaining Hydrogen Alpha data collection.

Olly started on the remaining frames in 2014, and I brought over a 3rd Takahashi FSQ to the set up when I visited to continue the imaging.

In one December night, we managed to shoot almost 20 hours of data in one night with the 3 telescopes running.

To all of this data I added high resolution data Olly had taken with the TEC 140mm F/7 refractor at his site. The data was added into the Orion, Horsehead, and Flame nebulae regions.

Over the 4 years, between the single telescope set up in Spain, the dual, and then later the triplet set up from Les Granges, approximately 100 nights or work, gave us 1.44 million seconds of exposures, or over 400 hours to combine into a single large Mega Mosaic of the Orion region.

Throughout the image, there are both small and large extensive bright Hydrogen Alpha Emission nebula, many Dark Nebula, Open Clusters, multiple small Galaxies, Reflection Nebula, again both small, such as the Vbd objects, and large expansive nebula like the extended Witchhead region. There are even Planetary Nebula scattered through the image, but these are very small and difficult to find. All the various objects which can be found across many different Star and Deep Sky catalogues, with some of the deep sky objects in the image which I have not found any documentation for at this time.

Select 'Full screen' to see the entire image!

Credit: Sky & Telescope

Cassiopeia 25 pane 350hr Mosaic
I began taking the Luminance data for this Mosaic in 2016. This was done over holidays taken at Les Granges using the Dual Tak scope set up. All panes were taken manually. So each night I would align the telescope to the section of Cassiopeia I wanted to image. Once I was happy with the overlap of the stars to the previous pane imaged, I focused both scopes and started guiding. Constant checking on the focus was needed as the temperature dropped throughout the night.

Using the dual scopes over many holidays to Les Granges, I was able to complete the 25 Luminance mosaic. I stitched these frames into the base layer and lightly processed it as a single layer. I imaged some RGB panes in 2018 while beginning the Remote Observatory build, however some of these panes needed to be re-done due to high clouds.

The Remote Observatory came online in the Summer of 2019. Now imaging from Dublin whenever the skies were clear at Les Granges, I was able to collect all the RGB frames, Ha frames, and selected O3 data to complete all the data needed. The Breaking Wave Nebula at Gamma Cassiopeia which myself and Olly imaged gave additional Ha data.

Select 'Full screen' to see the entire image!

Credit: Sky & Telescope
Equipment used
- Tak FSQ106N, and Tak FSQ106ED. 530mm focal length
- Atik 11000 CCD cameras
- LRGB Ha 3nm, and O3 7nm filters
- Imaged from 2016-2020
Objects visible
- Gamma Cassiopeia Nebula "Breaking Wave"
- M103, NGC 103, 129, 133, 146, 189, 225, 381, 539, 637, 663, 664 / 665, 7788, 7790
- Abell 85, Sharpless 170, 172, 173, 176, 179- 188
- Galaxy IC10, vdB1, vdB4, vdB6