Barnard’s Loop & Orion

Earlier on in the Winter, I promised a deeper Orion image. Well with the arrival of my 13nm Ha filter, I’ve been able to take a first shot at this.

 BarnardsLoop-FebMar08-comp1f Click image for a larger view …

It’s now getting towards the wrong time of year for me to be imaging low down in Orion but I just about squeaked this one, through the trees & all that. It’ll need more exposure time and will benefit for some really accurate long exposure guiding but I think all that will have to wait until early next winter.

This was my first image using Ha filtering and it is then combined with normal RGB imaging to produce the HaRGB image that you see above.

Barnard’s Loop is a large nebulous shell of dust & ionised hydrogen gas; it is also known as Sh 2-276. The loop partially surrounds the central region of Orion, it is some 1,600 light years from Earth and has a diameter of some 200 to 300 light years. It is currently thought that one or several significant supernova events, about 2 million years ago, blasted this matter out from the core regions of Orion. Then the strong solar winds from the bright OB1 stars of the vicinity, added to the effect and radiation from the same stars now ionises the hydrogen gas, which then emits light in the Ha band. An interesting discussion on this can be found here.

The image below identifies some of the more notable features within the region:

BarnardsLoopandOrion1  Click image for a larger view …

I look forward to collecting more exposures & thereby improving upon these images. In the meantime you can see more of Orion by viewing my earlier adventures with Orion.



Post a Comment