IC 2162. Emission nebula complex in Orion.

This is an interesting star forming region a little over 8000 light years away which can be found in Orion, near the Orion/Gemini border.
It is composed of 5 Sharpless objects, from left to right, SH2-258 (very faint hint), SH2-255(IC 2162), SH2-257, 256 (just under 257) and the large and diffuse SH2-254.
This was pretty tricky to image….the two main regions are quite bright but I wanted to capture the fainter regions too, and had to throw a lot of imaging time at it. To be honest, I'd like to have gone deeper but a 6 inch scope will only go so far in a reasonable length of time!
Adam Blocks image has more faint detail, but he was using a 20 inch RCOS, and unfortunately I don't have one!!
I had real problems processing this, due to the fact that my sensor was covered in little dust particles, but my flats didn't match, so I ended up equalising the background by adjusting the brightness ranges of individual groups of pixels, and lots of use of layers….very time consuming but quite effective when nothing else works!!

Click on image below for full size version



Imaged over several nights in November and December 2009, and January 2010.

RGB. William Optics ZS80FD. Atik 16HR
R. 15 x 300 seconds
G. 15 x 320 seconds
B. 15 x 360 seconds.

Ha. TMB 152 @ F8, SXV H16 and Atik 16HR
32 x 900 seconds (SXV), 10 x 600 seconds (16HR)