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Technical card

Imaging telescope or lens: Takahashi FSQ-106N FSQ

Imaging camera: QSI 683 wsg-8 QSI

Mount: apt1200gto AP1200

Software: CCD Autopilot 5

Resolution: 1500x1129

Dates: Feb. 8, 2013

Frames: 30x600"

Integration: 5.0 hours

Avg. Moon age: 26.99 days

Avg. Moon phase: 7.14%

Astrometry.net job: 1511820

RA center: 83.826 degrees

DEC center: -5.389 degrees

Pixel scale: 4.671 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -178.340 degrees

Field radius: 1.218 degrees

Locations: ImagingInfinity Observatory, Bethune, SC, United States

Description

The Great Nebula in Orion - one of the most photographed areas of the sky...and for good reason. M42 is the brightest nebula available to us. It is visible to the naked eye as the middle fuzzy "star" in Orion's Sword, and easily seen in some detail in binoculars. At its bright core is a nest of star birth activity, which lights up the surrounding hydrogen cloud. Above the nebula itself is a nearly circular formation, known as M43, with a tangled web of dust obscuring parts of it. An open star cluster, NGC1977, is embedded in the "Running Man Nebula" at the very top of the image.

M42 has proven to be a fertile area for astronomical research. Recently, detailed photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed stars in various stages of formation, and even "Proplyds", or Protoplanetary Disks which verify the theories of planetary formation around young stars.

M42 lies at a distance of 1600 light-years and is approximately 30 light-years across.

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Hap Griffin
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M42 - The Great Nebula in Orion, Hap Griffin