Listed at position 42 in Charles Messier’s well-known catalog of celestial objects this colorful nebula is one of the first targets for beginning hobby-and amateur astronomers when starting their sight-seeing tours ’round the night sky. On a clear winter night it may well be spotted by naked eye in the sword of the constellation of Orion, just less than five degrees south of the three remarkable stars forming Orion’s belt.
M42 is known to be a nursery of young stars.Embedded in the reddish-glowing hydrogen gas, bok-globules – small clouds of dark matter – can be found, yet better on images of higher resolution. These clouds are hosting young protostars which will eventually start hydrogen fusion and will then blow away the dust and begin to shine as young stars in the future. However – some dust/debris is not forming bock globules. It can bee seen as widespread clouds in the foreground or as grey-blue reflection nebula in the background. The Orion-nebula can be seen as a good example of a combination of emission- and reflection nebulae.
The distance to the Orion nebula is approx. 1340 light-years.
M42 is also listed as NGC1967 (New General Catalogue) or as LBN-974 (Linds bright nebula). Due to it’s relative magnitude of 4.0 mag it is probably one of the most observed and imaged deep-sky objects.
Finger Lakes Instrumentation (FLI) ProLine 16800 CCD Kamera at -30°C sensor temperature mounted on an Officina Stellare Pro RC500 reflector.
Aperture 500mm, focal length: 4000mm f/D = 8).
Astro Optik Kohler (AOKSwiss) Herkules V48 (DDM) aequatorial mount.
Location: Observatorio Son Bí, Llucmajor, Mallorca, Nov. 5. – 7., 2018
Exposures (minutes) – R/G/B unbinned.