Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
The Starless Night, 


            Terry Hancock

The Starless Night

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
The Starless Night, 


            Terry Hancock

The Starless Night

Acquisition details

Basic astrometry details job: 6871519

Resolution: 9413x6260

File size: 4.9 MB

Data source: Own remote observatory

Remote source: Grand Mesa Observatory


Winter wouldn’t be complete without capturing an object within the glorious constellation of Orion, and fortunately we have a huge legacy archive at Grand Mesa  Observatory and this time around I decided to process The Horsehead and Flame Nebula captured using our system 1  from broadband data (LRGB) collected in November 2020. 

I decided to process and present a starless version (using Russell Croman’s Photoshop version of StarXterminator) which in my opinion provides a very surrealistic rendering of the nebulous regions full of detail that are otherwise hidden by the many visible stars.   

This setup is available immediately for people wanting to subscribe to Grand Mesa Observatory's system 1

Total acquisition time 5.5 hours.

Technical Details
Captured and processed by: Terry Hancock 
Location: Purdy Mesa, Colorado

LUM 86 min 43x120
RED 90 min 45x120
GREEN 80 min 40x120
BLUE 76 min 38x120
Filters by Chroma 
Camera: QHY600 Monochrome CMOS Photographic version 
Gain 60, Offset 76 in Read Mode Photographic 16 bit 
Calibrated with Dark, Bias and Flat Frames 
Optics: Walter Holloway's Takahashi FSQ 130 APO Refractor @ F5 
Image Scale: 1.19 arcsec/pix 
Field of View: 3d 7' 41.0" x 2d 3' 5.3 (127.3 x 190.1 arcmin) 
EQ Mount: Paramount ME  
Image Acquisition software Maxim DL6 Pre Processing in Pixinsight Post Processed in Photoshop CC 

Less than one hundred light years from the Orion Nebula lies the aptly named Horsehead Nebula, another outcropping of the Orion Molecular Cloud and one of the most recognizable assemblies in the heavens. Whereas the Orion Nebula generates enough light to be visible to the unaided eye, the Horsehead has a far lower surface brightness and presents a challenge to visual observers even with large telescopes. But it’s a delight for astrophotographers and arm chair stargazers.
The Horsehead complex lies just south of the brilliant blue supergiant star Alnitak, the easternmost star in Orion’s Belt and just north of the Orion Nebula. The glowing reddish-pink region in the background is cataloged by astronomers as IC 434. Like the Orion Nebula, IC 434 is an emission nebula. It’s powered by the blazing-hot star Sigma Orionis, just south of Alnitak. Much of the nebula is permeated by tenuous streaks caused by magnetic fields in the region. This extract from The Armchair Astronomer by Brian Ventrudo and Terry Hancock 
The book is available in multi-media format from Apple’s iBooks store, in high-resolution PDF format, and in standard e-book format from Amazon’s Kindle store.



The Starless Night, 


            Terry Hancock