Mega Mosaics

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.