Orion Constellation DSOs and Starlink Satellites

Orion is finally rising up to a point where I can start to image, however not an ideal position (as I’m shooting around a radio tower placement) and when I was looking at the images in Pixinsight Blink (helps me determine if a photo got haze or to much motion) I saw several streaks across the subs from a train of similar trajectory satalites and my immediate guess was I accidentally images SpaceX’s newest venture… Starlink.

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I processed all the subs in Pixinsight and using some background reduction managed to convert a pretty bad stack into something more eye pleasing.

Processing in Pixinsight was pretty straight forward, streaks such as Starlink are removed because they only appear in a few sub, and as they didn’t fly right through the main targets there was little worry that they would still be visible after the stack.

Orion After Stacking and Colour Level Correction in Pixinsight

Of course there had to be one hiccup… the trapezium at the Center of the Orion Nebula was completely blown out… fortunately I’ve captured Orion before!

This was captures last spring before Orion Disappeared for the Summer

So I scales and positioned this earlier version of Orion and the Running Man Nebulae onto the image captures last night. Set the transparency to 75% and Blend Mode to Darken and then with some brushes smoothed everything out.

Note: This is why “flat field” telescopes are so important and expensive… they allow you do to little tricks like this in post – otherwise stars won’t line up at all. While both images were taken with the Nikon Z6, the larger Orion image was taken with William Optics Zenithstar ED II with Field Flattener.

Final Image with a bit of Curve adjustments in Photoshop and HDR Orion Nebula included


  • Nikon Z6 iso 800
  • 14 subs of 120 sec each = Total Integration Time 28 minutes
  • No Dark, Bias or Flats (Temperature Varied to much to Match up)
  • William Optics RedCat51 – Quad APO f4.9

Processing Method:

  • PixInsight 1.8.6
    • Star Align
    • Stack Integration
    • Crop and Rotate
    • Background Correction
    • Stretch
  • Photoshop 2020
    • HDR of Orion Nebula using 75% and Darken Blend Mode
    • Adjustment Curves
    • Flatten Image
    • Camera Raw Filter (some adjustment but mainly luma & color noise reduction)

2 thoughts on “Orion Constellation DSOs and Starlink Satellites

  1. how are you enjoying the Williams Optics Red Cat 51 APO? i am seriously considering purchasing one when they get off the backorder list. Does it meet your expectations and are you happy with the outcome of your astrophotography sessions this scope provides?
    Now that you have had it for a few months, would you recommend it?

    1. Bruce, I’ve been looking to do a full review (now that I’ve had it for over 6 months) the issue is I’m sort of “on the fence” with the RedCat51; and I feel a review should lean one way or the other.

      On the one side it is a great optics, on the other 250mm isn’t really a “telescope” and I have other telephoto lenses which cover that range easily, and for what it is – it is expensive (I picked up a 200mm Nikkor for around $100 and it does a pretty good job if you ignore the very edges).
      Ultimately I end up heavily cropping my photos on various targets because with a Full Frame Sensor its very wide field and quite expensive.

      Best Photo I’ve Taken with the RedCat51 by far: https://emberskymedia.com/2019/06/28/veil-nebula/

      I’m hoping to do a comparison between the RedCat51 and the ZenithStar 80ED II (with Field Flattner) once I get a 48mm–>42mm adapter so I can mount the guide camera on the RedCat51 and just swap the camera for an evening to see which gets a better final image (because IMHO the ZS80EDII + FF4 produces some impressive results at half the cost and almost double the magnification). It currently on guide duty when I’m using the RedCat51 which is why I haven’t used it recently.

      Stay Tuned, I do have comparisons coming in January 2020 with the RedCat51 (first the moon, then later DSO).

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