Well the night of Boxing Day (26th Dec) proved to be lovely and clear; dark too with it being a new moon. The stars of Orion were twinkling beautifully in the south-eastern sky, so I just couldn’t resist going and grabbing a few hours of hydrogen alpha subs. I’d been waiting since last spring to redo the Ha exposures for Barnard’s Loop and having exposed them, I chose the best 25 of the 4 minute exposures, stacked them and then combined them with my previous RGB exposures.Here’s the a small version of the resulting image:
Click image to view the larger version on my Astro Gallery.
For those who have not seen my previous posts on this object, here are some details:
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.
Within the loop several other distinct features can be seen including M42, M43, M78, the Horsehead & Flame Nebulae.