Horsehead and Flame Nebulae

Because this is what we do on New Year’s. Tanja and I rang in the 2014 new year manning telescopes in our driveway.

The scene that night in the driveway, as shot with a fisheye lens between the scopes.

Even with 78 exposures, the noise came through because the night was so warm at our home in Johannesburg, South Africa. It took quite a bit of noise reduction work to get this looking decent. Still, I’m very impressed at what I could get with a DSLR in the light pollution of Johannesburg.

Image details

  • Data acquired on 2014-01-01
  • 78x 3minutes, 3.9 hours total exposure time
  • ISO400
  • Calibrated with dark, flat, and bias frames

Equipment used

  • Orion 8″ Astrograph
  • Baader MPCC coma corrector
  • Canon t2i / 550D DSLR (Baader IR modded)
  • Celestron CGEM DX mount
  • Orion SSAG + 50mm finder/guider


  • Data acquired with BackyardEOS
  • Guiding with PhD
  • Calibration, integration, and post-processing with PixInsight
  • Final touch up with Lightroom



10 comments on “Horsehead and Flame NebulaeAdd yours →

  1. Hi Cory, your picture is amazing.

    I’m thinking to buy a telescope to start with Astrophotography.
    So, I see that Orion 8″ Astrograph is great for Deep Sky. Do you have experience using this telescope to view moon and planets?
    Could you tell me if is a great scope to see and photograph Jupiter and Saturn also?

    Thank you in advance for your response.

    1. Hello, I haven’t used it for planetary imaging, no. I don’t believe the focal length is long enough to allow for imaging them, but viewing could be OK. Good luck!

    1. Hi Daniel,
      Definitely, BackyardEOS is an amazing solution and very well priced. Plus, the support from the developer is top notch. I’ve used it for a while and love it. Go get it! I even use it on my Mac (in a Windows7 virtual machine).

  2. Cool, thanks! I’m also looking at SGPro (the 45-day trial then reverting to Lite). What are your thoughts on that program? I see you’ve used it with the new CCD.

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