The Sword of Orion

Image information:

Date: 12/28/2012
Equipment: QSI583ws with internal filter wheel and Astrodon E series Gen II LRGB filter set through AT65EDQ telescope on Losmandy GM8 mount.
Image type: LRGB
Exposure time: 14X6min Luminance binned 1X1, RG&B 14X6min each binned 1X1.

Object information:

Object designations:

  • M42 + M43, NGC1976 + NGC1982, the Great Orion Nebula
  • NGC1977, Running Man Nebula
Object type:
  • M42 + M43 - Diffuse emission nebula
  • NGC1977 - Diffuse reflection nebula
Object size:
  • M42 - 66' X 60' (M42)
  • M43 - 20' X 15' (M43)
  • NGC1977 - 20'
Constellation: Orion

M42 + M43 and NGC1977 are the most prominent objects in the Sword of Orion. Many parts of that nebulae complex have their own NGC designations. All these objects are parts of much larger Orion molecular cloud.

M42 & M43 is the brightest diffuse nebula in the sky, visible with the naked eye. This turbulent cloud of gas and dust shines with its own light, having atoms excited by the radiation of young, very hot stars within it. Forming of new star systems is still going on within the cloud. The Orion Nebula is the most prominent part of larger cloud of gas and dust spanning more than half the constellation of Orion. The Orion Nebula is 1500 ly distant from us and its diameter is some 30 ly.

NGC1977, the Running Man Nebula is situated close to M42, the Great Orion Nebula. It shines mostly due to the light reflected from the bright stars in Orion. The stars on the image appear to the unaided eye as a single star, northernmost star in the sword of Orion. This reflection nebula appears blue because the blue light from the neighbouring stars scatters more efficiently from nebula gas than does the red light. The dark lanes seen on the image are composed mostly of interstellar dust. The nebula is 1500 ly distant.

Related images:

List of related images:

Running Man Nebula, OSC, ZWO ASI178MC Cool through AT65EDQ telescope

The Running Man, LRGB, ST2000XM through WO ZS105ED telescope

M42 & M43 Orion Nebula, LRGB, ST2000XM through WO ZS105ED telescope