This image was produced with a half meter RCOS telescope and a SBIG STL-11000 camera between October 29- November 19, 2006.
Exposure times: 675 minutes Luminance, 195 minutes Red, 117 minutes Green and 234 minutes Blue (All 1X1)

The Foxface Nebula (NGC 1788) in Orion

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Infinitely Reasonable

For Europeans living in the fifteenth century, the sky was attached to clear crystal spheres circling our planet just as their forebears had believed since the life of Ptolemy. Then Galileo looked through his telescope and found the truth was something altogether different (which was a good thing, since the Earth was obstinately orbiting the Sun during all those years!)

Because we abhor complexity, we simplify things by whatever means we have at hand and over time, as our means become more sophisticated, our views about the Cosmos, which we are part, changes. For example, until the mid-1920's, galaxies were still considered by many to be star forming spiral nebulae within the Milky Way. So, today we live with the latest version explaining how the Universe functions until some new idea or discovery is announced and we adapt our opinion, again.

This finds its way into the pictures we produce as we depart on our nightly voyages of discovery because our bags are packed with star charts, camera and, more importantly, our beliefs about what the instruments will reveal. It colors our aesthetics, it saturates our exposure plans, it contrasts what we expect with what our hands create and it clarifies each processing decision. Truth is a lens.

Looking back, we may ask how people could have accepted a crystalline system that pulled the Sun around Earth when even a smidgeon of common sense would have revealed that the opposite was valid. But, for just a moment, consider how the sky would appear (to us) if they had been correct.

I believe it's infinitely reasonable that it would look exactly the same.

We see what we believe.

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