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Messier 42 - The Great Orion Nebula


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Messier 42 - The Great Orion Nebula

This is one of the most famous deep sky objects, and is easily visible to the unaided eye (if you know where to look). It is located in the constellation Orion, one of the brightest constellations in the sky. Orion is mainly visible in the winter (in the Northern Hemisphere). This nebula is the second “star” in Orion's sword. If you look carefully, this “star” may appear a bit fuzzy (which is because it's not a star at all). A closer look with a pair of binoculars or a small telescope will reveal that the “star” is actually a huge glowing cloud of gas. Unfortunately, the beautiful colors are only visible with long-exposure photographs.

I took this image from my backyard on March 16, 2002. It is a combination of two 30 minute exposures on Kodak Royal Gold 400 film. It was taken through my 10" Meade LX200 telescope.


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