Best of AOP - Diffuse Nebulae

M43: Part of Orion Nebula

M43 is part of the much larger Orion Nebula complex. Here we see an extremely bright OB star that is creating a matter bound Stromgren sphere. This means that the star is ionizing the gas that is near it, making a sphere of glowing (pink) hydrogen gas. The size of this sphere is determined by the density of gas/dust that surrounds the star. Another good example of this process can be found in IC 1274. M43 and the Orion Nebula are around 1500 light years away. Many new stars will be formed from these clouds of gas.

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Last Updated: 09-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.1

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

Two iterations of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp were applied to the luminance image.

Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the very dim and very bright details of

the image simultaneously.

Luminance = RGB (synthetic) binned 1x1

Red = 20 minutes binned 1x1

Green = 20 minutes binned 1x1

Blue = 20 minutes binned 1x1

Minimum credit line: Pat and Chris Lee/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF