Astrophotography by David Gares

Great Orion Nebula M42

Home
Solar System
Planets
Open Clusters
Globular Clusters
Nebulae
Galaxies
Double Stars
Image Index
Weather
Observing Tools
Imaging Tips
My Equipment
Links
M42, the Great Orion Nebula, is the showpiece object of the northern hemisphere.  It is easily seen by naked eye as a slightly fuzzy "star" at the center of Orion the Hunter's sword.  M42 is the most photographed object beyond our solar system due to its large size and brightness.  M42 is also an excellent visual target for all size telescopes and binoculars, with or without nebula filters.
 
At the core of M42 is the Trapezium cluster.  Even small telescopes can see this tight cluster of 4 bright stars, but photographs usually overexpose this area.  Larger telescopes will show 5 or 6 Trapezium stars.  The Great Orion Nebula is a bright starbirth region in a much larger cloud of gas and dust covering half the Orion constellation.  The bright roundish area across the dust lane from the main nebula has been numbered M43, though it appears to be part of the same structure.  The dark nebula forming the dust lane has been nicknamed the "Fish's Mouth".

 Object Details:  
 
 Type:  Emission nebula
 
Constellation:  Orion
 Distance:  1600 light-years
 Size:  30 light-years

 
m42tak.jpg

M42/M43 (Orion Nebula)
Date:  Dec. 25, 2005
Site:  Harahan, LA
CCD Duration:  5s, 15s, 2m, 5m
Total Exposure:  1.21 hours
Filters:  Orion SkyGlow LPR
Processing:  MSB Astroart 3.0
Telescope:  4" Tak FSQ-106N
Reducer:  None (f/5.0)
CCD:  Starlight Express MX7C
Autoguider:  S.T.A.R. 2000

m42ccd.jpg

M42/M43 (Orion Nebula)
Date:  Oct. 19, 2003
Site:  Harahan, LA
Exposure (main):  CCD, 5 x 2 min.
Exposure (core): CCD, 5 x 30 sec.

Filters:  Orion SkyGlow LPR
Processing:  MSB Astroart 3.0
Telescope:  10" Meade LX200
Reducer:  Meade f/3.3
CCD:  Starlight Express MX7C
Autoguider:  S.T.A.R. 2000

m42film.jpg

M42/M43 (Orion Nebula)
Date:  Jan. 8, 2003
Site:  Harahan, LA
Camera:  Olympus OM-1
Film:  Kodak Supra 400

Exposure: 6 x 15 min.
Filters:  Lumicon Deep-Sky LPR
Processing:  MSB Astroart 3.0
Telescope:  10" Meade LX200
Reducer:  Lumicon GEG f/5.8
Autoguider:  MX7C/S.T.A.R. 2000

sword.jpg

Orion's Sword (w/ M42)
Date:  Nov. 2, 2003
Site:  Harahan, LA
Exposure: CCD, 5 x 45 sec.

Lens:  135 mm, f/2.8

Filters:  K2 yellow
Processing:  MSB Astroart 3.0
CCD:  Starlight Express MX7C
Autoguider:  S.T.A.R. 2000