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"Looking Up" Astronomy Blog

By Johnny Tsai/WDBJ7 Blogger
Published On: Sep 20 2013 03:10:18 PM EDT
Updated On: Feb 18 2014 05:13:27 PM EST
Johnny Tsai

February 18, 2014

It has been a few months since my last post and now it is deep into Winter.

These Winter nights make excellent conditions to view the stars, if you're able to handle the cold.  The stars are crystal clear with even the fainter ones becoming more visible with the dry air.

One of the most prominent constellations in the Winter skies is Orion, which already hovers high in the sky a couple hours after sunset.  This very noticeable constellation is full of treats.  One of my favorites is the Orion Nebula which is located in the sword that hangs from the belt of the three stars. 

Orion

Orion's Sword

Photographing Orion or any constellation and photographing a nebula, star or any other deep sky object are done differently.  Taking the picture of the entire constellation (top picture) is pretty simple.  Just mount the camera onto a tripod, use a short, wide angle lens, and use a long exposure to bring out the faintest of stars.   The picture of the nebula (bottom picture) takes a little more to achieve a good picture.  A little more technical stuff and a little more patience.  I'm no expert, but I'll talk about the steps I take to get decent, up-close pictures of things in the sky in my next post.