Throughout the ages, Orion has played a prominent role in astronomy.  The Pyramids are said to be aligned with its belt, though most Astropotamuses don’t believe this.  The Orion Nebula (the middle “star” of his belt”) has been a form of eye test for thousands of years.  And my favorite, it signifies the return of cold, dark, clear winter skies.

Winter skies are, perhaps ironically, easier to image than summer skies.  The heat differences between day and night are less, there are fewer mirage effects from heat coming off of the ground, and the atmosphere is generally less turbulent when it is cold.  The entire night sky is in a sort of slumber, with few things to make it move and shake and wiggle.

Orion, which sweeps through the early night sky and will be with us until almost summer, is a beautiful sight.  All of its primary stars are visible with the naked eye and it houses some of the most studied and photographed nebulae in the Milky Way.  This year, will be the year I image it.

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