1/18/2020 Barnard’s Loop and the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex

Here is a picture of most of the constellation of Orion taken with my Canon 800D and a 50mm lens at the River Ridge Observatory Saturday January 18, 2020. My friend John Reed did the post processing. I used my Celestron AVX mount as a tracking platform and took 12 5 minute subs for one hour of data combined in DeepSkyStacker. The ISO was set at 800 and I was using a “city light suppression” filter to try to mitigate the light pollution.

My main goal was to capture Barnard’s Loop around the Orion Nebula and I did that. Inside the loop, near the center you can see three blue stars that make up the belt of Orion. “Attached” to the bottom star are the Flame Nebula (below and to the left of that star) and the complex that includes the Horsehead Nebula (below and to the right of that star). Further to the right is the Orion Nebula. All of this nebulosity including the big ball of fluff on the left is part of the huge Orion Molecular Cloud Complex.  Only some of it is illuminated by nearby stars, stars being born there now.

In the lower left quadrant is the star Betelgeuse, in the news recently because of it dramatic dimming. It’s still bright but is more like top 25 bright instead of top 10 bright. In the upper right is the bright blue star Rigel.

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