Welcome to my website. As I build this site it will host samples of my astro-imaging, as well as my interest in Asteroid Astrometry. The image above is some of my latest processing work. “Pretty Picture” astroimaging of nebulae like the Horse Head and Flame, give the artist (astrophotographer) great leeway in how the image is represented. Extensive processing is necessary to bring out the subtle differences in contrast and texture while keeping the brighter portions of the image from taking over. The colors are representative of what the human eye can see. They are not fake**. Either a bayer matrix for color cameras or RGB filters for a monochrome camera, filter the incoming photons into the color we would naturally see. It is representative because if we were close to the nebula, say 100 light years or less, we probably not see anything but the stars in this image. It is only because of the vastness of space between us and the depth (thickness) of the nebulous dust, can we see it at all. The Horse Head Nebula is 1,500 light years from Earth.
The header image on this page shows a wide field image of Orion where these nebulae are located. The bottom star (Alnitak) in the row of three, representing the Belt of Orion, shows both nebulae. The flame on the left and Horse Head on the right. Alnitak is the bright star to the left of the Horse Head in the image above.
** A Note on “fake”: Some imagers do use the capabilities of their processing software to alter the color in the image. They use their “artistic license” to adjust the hue and saturation to their personal preference. That is why, if you search for this image online, you’ll see varying colors from those shown above.