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M42: Orion Nebula

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

Date & Site:

Imaged on12/20/2012; Runningman Observatory, Carlsbad

Conditions: calm; 48 degrees; average seeing


Telescope: Takahashi FSQ106 Refractor (F5 530 mm fl)
Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini
Camera: ST-10XME; CFW10; externally guided


Exposures: 15 min each hydrogen alpha (Ha), doubly ionized oxygen (OIII), and ionized sulfur (SII) (3 nm bandwidth) for a total of only 45 minutes

Color processed by assigning Ha to green, OIII to blue, and SII to red. An additional OIII layer mask was added to bring out detail in the trapezium

FOV = 96 x 65 arc minutes

The Orion Nebula is a diffuse nebula situated in Orion's Belt (middle star). It is one of the brightest nebula and can be easily spotted with binoculars on a clear night.

Astronomers have directly observed protoplanetary disks, brown dwarfs, intense and turbulent motions of the gas, and the ionizing effects of massive nearby stars in this nebula. Multiple hot newborn stars reside in the trapezium (bright center portion of the nebula). Radiation and ionizing effects ignite the various gasses in this region which can be seen as color when photographed through special filters.

1,500 ly distant


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