The ORION nebula is a nebula located in the Milky Way Galaxy, in the constellation Orion. It is a diffuse nebula, which means that it has no defined borders. It is one of the brightest nebulae visible to the naked eye and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth!
Astronomers have been able to identify many steps in the star formation process by observing the Orion Nebula. Neither Ptolemy or Galileo noted the Orion Nebula in their notes from observing the sky, so it is believed to think that the Stars have become brighter since then, allowing it to be visible to naked eye viewers.
The nebula is part of a larger nebula known as the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. This extends through the Orion constellation and contains Barnard’s loop, the Horsehead nebula, the Flame nebula, and some other smaller ones!
Got any other facts/questions about the Orion nebula? Send me a message and we can talk about it! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, keep sending your suggestions!
The Orion Nebula, also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976, is a diffuse nebula located just below Orion’s Belt. M42 is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky on a clear night. The Orion Nebula is about 1300 Light-years away from us and is about 24 light years across.
This is the magnificent IC 405 or Flaming Star Nebula. It’s a diffuse nebula located in the Auriga constellation. The nebula mainly surrounds the star AE Aurigae which gives the impression that the star is burning.
(Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona)
M78 is the brightest diffuse reflection nebula of a group of nebulae
that include NGC 2064, NGC 2067 and NGC 2071. This group belongs to the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and is about 1,600 light years distant from Earth.
The California Nebula (NGC 1499) lies about 1,500 light-years away towards the constellation Perseus and is not too far from the Pleiades. The nebula is about 100 light-years long and is a regular target for Astrophotographers.
The CARINA nebula, also known as the Eta Carinae nebula, is an area of both bight and dark nebulae.
It is found in the Carina constellation and is thought to be located between 6 500 and 10 000 light years from Earth. It is one of the largest diffuse nebulae in our skies and is even larger (and brighter) than the famous Orion nebula. It is home to the brightest star in the Milky Way Galaxy- WR 25.
Some objects contained within this nebula are:
Eta Carinae: hypergiant star- currently the largest star that can be studied due to its location.
Homunculus Nebula: believed to have been ejected in an enormous outburst in 1841.
Keyhole Nebula: portion of the nebula that is dark. It doesn’t have its own NGC designation.
Mystic Mountain: dust-gas pillar found by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Got any other facts/questions about the Carina nebula? Send me a message
and we can talk about it! Stay tuned for tomorrow!