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M42: Orion Nebula

RA = 5 hrs 35 min; Dec = -05 deg 23 min

Date & Site:
Imaged on 12/20/11; Running Man Observatory, Carlsbad, CA

Telescope: Vixen 200mm Newtonian (800mm FL F4.0)
Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini
Camera: ST-10XME; CFW10 with Astrodon filters; Internal autoguiding


Exposures: 2.5 Hrs in Ha (6 nm)

FOV = 64 x 43 arc minutes

The Orion Nebula is a diffuse emission nebula surrounding the middle star of Orion's Belt. It is one of the brightest nebula and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. Astronomers have directly observed protoplanetary disks, brown dwarfs, intense and turbulent motions of the gas, and theionizing effects of massive nearby stars in the nebula. There are also supersonic "bullets" of gas piercing the dense hydrogen clouds of the Orion Nebula. Each bullet is ten times the diameter of Pluto's orbit and tipped with iron atoms glowing bright blue. They were probably formed one thousand years ago from an unknown violent event.

1600 light years away

Click here to see widefield image of M42 from RMO

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