The Horsehead and the Flame Nebulas 2/1/11

04 February 2011

We were fortunate enough to have another couple of nights of clearing, and I decided to try out an alternative imaging platform I have been working on.  This setup is based on the Vixen ED80SF 80mm Apochromatic scope that I used to use for guiding!  What makes imaging with this scope possible is the new Orion ED80 focal reducer / field flattener that just happens to be a perfect fit for this scope and the DSLR camera I typically use for imaging. 

This image contains both the Horsehead (IC 434) and the Flame Nebulas (NGC 2024).  This is possible because the Vixen ED80SF with focal reducer attached has a much shorter focal length than the Celestron C11 I normally use, giving it a much wider field of view.  (Using the C11, I would only be able to get part of the horsehead nebula in a single frame and not both)

Here are the details:

The Horsehead (IC434) and the Flame Nebulas (NGC 2024)
4 exposures, with 5-minute subs at ISO 1600 taken on January 31, 2011
15 exposures, with 5-minute subs at ISO 1600 taken on February 1, 2010
17 exposures, with 8-minute subs at ISO 1600 taken on February 1, 2010
Imaging scope:  Vixen ED80SF on CGE Mount
Reducers:  Orion ED80 Focal Reducer / Field Flattener
Filters:  Astronomik CLS
Imaging camera:  Canon XS/1000d with heatmirror replace with Baader filter glass
Guide scope:  Modified Celestron 9×50 finder scope
Guide camera:  Orion Starshoot Autoguider
Captured with Nebulosity
Guided with PHD
Stacked in DSS