M42, M43, NGC 1977 – The Orion Nebula and Running Man

RA: 05h 35m 17s, Dec: -5°23’28” m42-200702061024.jpg
The Orion Nebula (M42 (NGC 1976) & M43) is located in the “sword” of Orion and is a large emission nebula that is easily visible to the naked eye. It is an area of star formation – the closest such to Earth at a distance of 1500 light years. The nebula is an estimated 30 light years across, and contains a young star cluster (the Trapezium) in the bright core of the nebula. The reflection nebula at the top of the image is the “Running Man” nebula (NGC 1973, 1975 and 1977) – so named due to the resemblance of the silhouetted dust lanes.

I had lots of trouble with this image (taken on 6th Feb, 2007) – the flats I took didn’t work out (there’s the odd artifact here and there!), and I’m not quite happy with the colour balance – have another go at this later I think…

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