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)

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