Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Shot the Orion Nebula

2003.02.01 Noveleta, Cavite, Philippines

Yes, this is the Orion Nebula (or the M42 or NGC 1976) in the constellation Orion.

This was CJ David's first deep-sky object photograph. I was surprised to see this photo when I claimed the pictures from the photolab. This was just a test shot. I even forgot about it. I wasn't really expecting anything good or anything visible to come out of it.

Telescope night-sky photography, especially when shooting deep-sky objects, normally requires: higher ISO to capture light better; a camera-to-telescope adapter/mount and an altitude-azimuth mount so that the telescope and the camera stay focused on the object during long time exposures as heavenly bodies move across the sky due to the Earth's rotation.

How did I do it? With my Minolta 35mm SLR camera, I peeped through the eyepiece of, most probably Engr. Milo Dacanay's new reflecting Newtonian-Dobsonian telescope. I held the camera steady for about 10 to 25 seconds, with its shutter speed set to B, then clicked it.

This shot was taken using only an ISO-400 Kodak S-Gold film with f/3.5 and a 10 to 25-second exposure. The speed of the film and the time exposure wasn't enough to show sharp details of the object but I was relatively astronomically pleased by the result.

This happened during one of the Out-Of-Town Observation Session (OOTOS) of the Philippine Astronomical SocietyHeld in Coastal Bay City, Noveleta, Cavite last February 1st 2003.

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