A Baby Elephant

There are, of course, a finite number of objects that an astrophotographer can shoot.  It’s a large number, but definitely finite, and when you add restrictions (and, trust me, there are a LOT of restrictions) it can seem like a pretty small number.  So it’s encouraging to see that the same object can be photographed and processed in many different ways.  As an example, I have now photographed the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula at 3 different focal lengths; 640, 350, and now 200mm.  A much longer focal length is often used on this target to capture just the “trunk” itself (the vertical column in the lower center of this image), but that requires more magnification than is viable around here.

I used pretty much the same color scheme for all 3 versions, with minor variations, so there are a lot of processing variations possible as well.  Applying this principle to all of the objects available to me, even if we limit it to emission nebulae for narrowband imaging, should provide enough imaging possibilities to keep me busy for a long time!

This image was captured a while ago and has been waiting for me to process it.  And I haven’t forgotten about adding some color to the wide-field Cygnus image I wrote about last time.  In fact, I am capturing more photons from that target even as I write this, so stay tuned for a color update!


About Greg Marshall

I am a retired electronics engineer and after a few months of enjoying my leisure I began to miss doing product development. My astronomy hobby always needed new solutions to unique problems, so I decided that whenever I came up with a good solution I would try to make it available to others.

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