Back to Main Page
Back to Nebulae

Messier 42 NGC 1976
The Orion  Nebula
Imaged by Martin S. Ferlito copyright
Film Photography
C8 SCT on Vixen GP mount Stepper Driven.
Prime focus f/6.3 Nikon FE2 Fujichrome Sensia 400 ASA, 25 minutes unguided exposure.

Information provided by

Nebula possibly discovered 1610 by Nicholas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc.Independently found by Johann Baptist Cysatus in 1611.
Trapezium cluster found as multiple star by Galileo Galilei in 1617.
The Orion Nebula Messier 42 (M42, NGC 1976) is the brightest starforming, and the brightest diffuse nebula in the sky, and also one of the brightest deepsky objects at all. Shining with the brightness of a star of 4th magnitude, it visible to the naked eye under moderately good conditions, and rewarding in telescopes of every size, from the smallest glasses to the greatest Earth-bound observatories as well as outer-space observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope. It is also a big object in the sky, extending to over 1 degree in diameter, thus covering more than four times the area of the Full Moon.
The gaseous nature of the Orion Nebula was revealed in 1865 with the help of spectroscopy by William Huggins. On September 30, 1880, M42 was the first nebula to be successfully photographed, by Henry Draper. Consequently, on March 14, 1882, Henry Draper obtained a second, better, deeper, and more detailed photograph of the Orion Nebula, a 137-minutes exposure, which also clearly shows M43.
The Orion Nebula is located at a distance of about 1,600 (or perhaps 1,500) light-years. At this distance, its angular diameter of 66x60 arc minutes corresponds to a linear diameter of about 30 light-years. On its northern end, the nebula is divided by a conspicuous dark lane.


Make a Free Website with Yola.