It's the season for Orion...Another M42


Another M42…
My project since October has been my most ambitious project yet, an 8 panel mosaic of the Horsehead to M42. The framing and mosaic wizard makes this very easy to plan. I had previously completed the two panels around the Horsehead and Flame, and now have completed the two panels around M42 and NGC1977. The image is off center because of how these two panels relate to the whole mosaic, but I chose to leave it that way rather than crop the image to center.

This is just over 12hrs of total exposure and it was a baer to processes, actually one of the more difficult images I have ever processed because M42 is just so overwhelming. I’m satisfied with this result but I will probably go back and try again with an eye to better color. This one has a cotton candy look to it.


Just spectacular Joel. And what a difference from your last attempt…


Great stuff Joel! I’m working on an 8 pane of the same target but with the weather here it’s going to take a couple of years more (!). But with the plate solving and sgp it’s just about waiting for the skies to clear.

I’m not sure I’ll do any of it this year though as I’m trying to finish a 4 pane spaghetti project I started last year. Again seamlessly continued thanks to sgp.

But note to self. One Mosaic at a time in future !

Btw - although this might not be news to you - but pi’s gradient merge mosaic makes assembling these things SO much easier !


Thanks Kit. Yes I use PI and the gradient merge mosaic is a spectacular tool. Unfortunately though for this particular image it didnt work well. The reason is because M42 is so bright that it was throwing off however GMM calculates the merge and I would end up with M42 being very dim and washed out. David Ault, who is the master of PI when it comes to mosaics, helped me assemble the panels manually. Thankfully the data was very consistent across panels so I could use this manual method vs. GMM.