Star Shots – Bellatrix (Gamma Orionis)

Thank you for following Star Shots, in this edition, our sixth target is the star Bellatrix in the constellation Orion. As a reminder, all photographs and descriptions are from my location in Pennsylvania, so roughly 40 degrees North latitude.  We will be using the Wikipedia page of the brightest stars as our guide list to follow.

Images are taken using my standard astrophotography setup. If you have any question on my setup, please ask/comment.

Check out the image below to find the location of Bellatrix in the constellation Orion.  After sunset, Bellatrix will be low in the West with Venus off to the right.  I hate saying goodbye to Orion!

Look for Bellatrix in the West after sunset. Chart created using Stellarium software.

Look for Bellatrix in the West after sunset. Chart created using Stellarium software.

Bellatrix is located in the constellation Orion (see below).

By IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg) ([1]) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)

Here are some interesting facts about Bellatrix.

Bellatrix is the 26th brightest star in Earth’s night sky and it has a visual magnitude of 1.64.

EarthSky.org has a great article on Bellatrix that you can read HERE.

Burnham indicates that there is some minor nebulosity found around this star, but it is part of the overall nebulous region that culminates in the Great Orion Nebula.  (©Burnham’s Celestial Handbook, Robert Burnham Jr., Volume 1, 1978)

Bellatrix is the third brightest star in Orion and thus bears the Bayer designation of GAMMA Orionis.

Bellatrix is about 240 light years away.

Below is the full resolution image, consisting of five stacked 30-second exposures at ISO 3200.  Stacked with DeepSkyStacker and edited with Corel PaintshopPro software.  Diffraction spikes added using fishing line.

Bellatrix - photographed by Tom Wildoner on March 9, 2015. 2.5 minute exposure using 30 second sub-frames.

Bellatrix – photographed by Tom Wildoner on March 9, 2015. 2.5 minute exposure using 30 second sub-frames.

One Response to Star Shots – Bellatrix (Gamma Orionis)

  1. Mark says:

    I love your shot of Bellatrix, and your website here in general.
    I tried searching for a post containing your photo setup, would like to see what gear you’re using for shots like this one.

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