Capturing the Beauty of the Orion Nebula

The Orion Nebula - February 2023 - PixelatedDad
The Orion Nebula - February 2023 - PixelatedDad

The Orion Nebula is always a stunning sight to behold. Located approximately 1,350 light-years away from Earth, this diffuse emission nebula is a bustling stellar nursery brimming with towering pillars of gas and dust. It’s no wonder that it has captured the fascination of many amateur astronomers, including myself.

I recently had the opportunity (a night without clouds) to photograph this magnificent object over a 4-hour observation using my Stellina digital observatory. With about 550 stacked images, and then ran through Topaz Gigapixel and Topaz Denoise. I was able to capture this detail and colour in my backyard in Nottinghamshire, England. I live in a bottle 4 area, and the Stellina has several built-in filters to help compensate for local light pollution.

The Orion Nebula - February 2023 - PixelatedDad
The Orion Nebula – February 2023 – PixelatedDad

The Orion Nebula is also known as Messier 42 (or M42 for short) and is about 2 million years old, according to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It’s located in the Orion Constellation, just below Orion’s Belt making it relatively easy to locate for stargazers worldwide.

For me, photographing the Orion Nebula is always an awe-inspiring experience. Seeing this cosmic cloud up close and personal reminded me of how vast and beautiful our universe truly is. I hope my photo will inspire others to look at the night sky and appreciate its wonders. #ClearSkies


PixelatedDad, the 8-bit gaming guru who's a few pixels short of a full sprite. Despite my age, I'm still young at heart and can often be found playing games that are older than my kids. I've got the reflexes of a sloth and the aim of a blindfolded monkey, but that doesn't stop me from trying to save the pixelated princess. Meet the ultimate multitasker - Pixelated princess saver, Husband, Geek, and proud Dad! When I'm not busy wrangling my two sets of twins (yep #TwinsTwice) or coding away on my computer, taking pictures of the night sky or designing and printing 3d bits of plastic, you can find me snuggling up with my furry sidekick, Doggo McStuffin.

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