Orion Close Encounter
Every clear night between December and April, Orion has a close encounter with Devils Tower just before it sets. It was a shot I've had in mind for awhile, but I waited until March to pay a visit so I could capture it at a more reasonable time and temperature. Beneath the 3 belt stars is found Orion's Sword. It also goes by the name Messier 42, NGC1976, or simply the Orion Nebula. As the brightest nebula in northern hemisphere skies, it is easily seen with the naked eye away from light pollution. Larger in angular size than the moon, it looks spectacular in even a small telescope. If you zoom in to the belt star of Alnitak (pierced by a satellite trail), the Flame Nebula is on the left, with the Horsehead located below. Between finding the right overlook, aligning the star tracking mount, shooting dozens of long exposures, and hours of editing, “deepscape” photos like this are always more complex than any other type I create. But I love showing a commonly photographed landmark in an uncommon way. When thin clouds started to roll in I almost stopped shooting, but I ended up liking the halo effect.