Best of AOP - Diffuse Nebulae

M42: The Orion Nebula

The most famous of the nebulae. Galileo missed this object entirely, but William Herschel had the eerie foresight to call it "the chaotic material of future suns."

It's a star forming region, all right, one of the closest at a mere 1600 lightyears. There is enough material here for 10,000 stars like the sun. This image is of the bright central region, an irregular cloud about six lightyears across. The four stars in the center (the Trapezium) have recently formed and provide the energy to light up the nebula.

There is also a Hydrogen-alpha image of this nebula.

Star map is navigable within this page.

Last Updated: 09-Jun-2014

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About This Image

Click on image for larger version.

Equipment

16in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.4

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

One iteration of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp was applied to the luminance image.

Luminance = RGB (synthetic) binned 1x1

Red = 12 minutes binned 1x1

Green = 12 minutes binned 1x1

Blue = 12 minutes binned 1x1

Minimum credit line: Jim Rada/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF