M42 by Rogelio Bernal Andreo
With all of the new technology coming on line over the past 20 years, few fields of endeavor have been more visible changed then that of astrophotography. Improved optics and manufacturing processes have put telescopes that would have been previously available only to researchers into the hands of even casual amateur astronomers. Imaging hardware and software not even available 10 years ago have trumped the “old” chemical film processes many times over with quality, expense and durability.
One amateur who takes full advantage of the new tech is Rogelio Bernal Andreo, perhaps one of the best in the business. His website, http://blog.deepskycolors.com/, is guaranteed to give you a soar jaw as it drops time and time again. Andreo’s intent is to capture the full colors of the deep-sky and to do so in across very wide regions of the heavens while most are content to focus up close on a single object. For example, this image covers all of Orion, north going to the left, and shows that everybody’s favorite the Orion nebula (center right) is merely a tiny part of a far greater structure known as the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex.
Please check out his website and order some prints while you’re at it, and you’ll see why he’s had so many of his images appear as the Astronomy Picture of the Day.