Photo credit: Matt Harbison via PetaPixel
Astrophotographer Matt Harbison spent 5-years capturing an amazing 2.5 gigapixel image of the Orion Constellation, which required shooting thousands of individual photos. One piece of specialized equipment that made his dream a reality is the $4,800 QHY 16200 CCD APS-H camera with an integrated 7-position filter wheel capable of capturing a 1.6-pixel scale of the constellation Orion. After all of the photos were captured, it still required over 500-hours of integration. Read more for a video and additional information.
The integration started in 2015 with a Dual Xeon-equipped Mac Pro with 64GB of RAM, but even then, it only got him to panel 47 out of 200 before hitting a bottleneck. Fast forward to August 2020, he finished the project with an AMD Threadripper packing 24-Cores and 256GB of RAM. Software used include Sequence Generator Pro, PHD2 Guiding, Pixinsight, Astro Pixel Processor, and Adobe Photoshop.
- Computerized star locating telescope: The Celestron NexStar 127SLT is a computerized telescope that offers a database of more than 40,000 stars, galaxies, nebulae, and more. The telescope locates your object with pinpoint accuracy and tracks it.
- Compact and portable: This telescope for adults and kids to be used together is ideal for weekend camping trips or excursions to dark sky sites. Its compact form factor makes it easy to transport and assemble just about anywhere.
- Maksutov-cassegrain optical design: The NexStar 127SLT is the second-largest in the SLT family. The 127mm aperture gathers enough light to see our Solar System and beyond. View Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s cloud bands, and the Moon in brilliant detail.
- Fast setup with skyalign: Celestron’s proprietary SkyAlign procedure has you ready to observe in minutes. Simply center any three bright objects in the eyepiece and the NexStar SLT aligns to the night sky, ready to locate thousands of objects.
- Bonus free starry night software: The NexStar 127SLT Computerized Telescope includes a free download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs for an interactive sky simulation.
The image posed many problems from the start- balancing differing sky conditions per night, aligning to the same star position each and every night, and meticulously returning to a position just a few thousand pixels North, South, East, or West. Aside from the challenge of software, there were also the continual hardware problems and challenging weather conditions in East Tennessee. Sure, there are some good nights, but there are some not so good nights as well,” said Harbison.
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Project Orion -My 2.5 gigapixel mosaic spanning 5 years, 267 panels, 12,816 photos, 640.8 imaging hours, and over 500 editing hours is complete. Please take some time to look at the full resolution and details at the link! LINK IN BIO! https://space4everybody.com/home/project-orion/ #astrophotography #space #astro #nasa #apodos