A Bit More Of Backlog


It’s a word I had got used to. Right after my examinations were over. The fact that my examinations were ongoing did stop me from sitting on the Internet every night.

But it did not, or rather, could not stop me from pursuing my hobbies. In fact, I liked them.

They gave me some much-needed relaxation after a stressful day writing down all that you revised the last night on a booklet consisting eight pages.

Sure I liked it. Frankly speaking, the hobby was photography at day and night. Oh yes, I like to refer to photography at night as “astrophotography”.

Many of those close to me, must have realized by now, that Orion is one of my favourite constellations.

Well, not really, or maybe really. It’s my favourite when it comes to wide-field astrophotography, not when I’m jabbering about high-magnification astrophotography.

I was pleasantly greeted after I finished up with all the post-processing. Image Credit: Sagnik Sarkar

The Cognizable

The first job that I consider, before sharing an image, is identifying the constellations. Well, when it comes to winter constellations, Orion is always unmistakable.

In fact, I’ve developed my “mental systems” to use Orion as a ‘reference guide’ for locating other constellations.

Orion’s Belt, that “line” of three stars in the middle, is always very easy to identify. So is the brightest star in Orion, Betelgeuse, the yellowish star visible above Orion’s Belt.

Orion itself is a fascinating constellation. It houses three of the most well-recognized and stunning of astrophotography targets:

  • The Orion Nebula
  • The Horsehead Nebula
  • The Flame Nebula

Not to mention others. All of these have awed astrophotographers, amateur and professional alike: by their stunning beauty compared to their relatively-easy photogenesis.

If you have Orion, you’re bound to have the Bull somewhere near. So, in comes Taurus a bit right of Orion.

It is easily recognized by the v-shape line of stars at the centre, and the Pleiades Open Cluster extending northwards from there.

That small mass of five stars that you see to the far middle-right of the image is an open cluster of 5 young stars, the Pleiades.

The yellowish star on top of the left stem of the “V” is Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus.

The annotated version of the astrophotograph, which shows the constellations marked.    Image Credit: Astrometry.net

Running from the bottom of Orion, is “The River”: Eridanus. As the name might imply, it’s the longest constellation. Albeit one of the faintest too. So, spotting Eridanus from a metropolitan city can only be in astrometry and planetarium software!

That’s enough talk. Now, let’s get to the technical details. Anyone interested? Or not interested? I won’t pause for a reply!

Instrument: Camera
Model: Sony NEX-3
Focal Length: 18 mm
Focal Ratio: f/3.5
Exposure Time: 30"ISO: 200

Calibration Frames
Dark Frames: 3 (30", 20", 10")
Bias Frames: 3 (1/10", 1/20", 1/30")

Post Processing
Calibration: DeepSkyStacker
Histogram Stretching: Adobe Photoshop
Final Touches: Adobe Lightroom

More Details About Astrometry
Field of View of the astrophotograph.    Image Credit: Astrometry.net


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