the great orion nebula

You’re looking up at the stars on a clear winter’s night. Right above you, you see it- Orion! Below Orion’s belt you see a fuzzy area- it’s the Great Nebula of Orion! 

In this nebula is a bright star cluster known as the Trapezium, marked by four bright stars near the image center. The newly born stars in the Trapezium and surrounding regions show the Orion Nebula to be one of the most active areas of star formation to be found in our area of the Galaxy. 

Many of the stars in the featured image, taken in visible and near-infrared light, appear unusually red because they are seen through dust that scatters away much of their blue light.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble

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The Great Nebula in Orion by Neil Creek
Via Flickr:
I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of this! I’ve been struggling for a while to get my telescopic astrophotos sharp while learning how to use a new camera and control it all via the computer. With this image I am starting to see the results of that hard work. There’s still things to improve, but I’m very happy with this shot! I think it’s my best telescopic astrophoto so far, and definitely my best photo of my favourite nebula!The next two weekends are going to (hopefully - weather pending) be intense astrophotography learning experiences as I travel out bush to learn from experts and mentors and some people I have looked up to for a while now! Hopefully you can look forward to continued improvements in my work :)M42 - The Orion NebulaCamera: ASI1600MC-C Telescope: 8“ f4 reflecting newtonian Mount: NEQ6 Guiding: Orion StarShoot Autoguider Control software: Sequence generator pro 12 5min exposures, 1hr totalBias and flat calibration frames used Edited in Pixinsight, Lightroom and Photoshop

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M42 - Orion Nebula by Guillaume Seigneuret
Via Flickr:
My Third attenpt. The famous great Orion Nebula and the running man. Done at Rians Camera : EOS 50D Lens : Tamron 150-600 @ f/6.3 Mount : Avalon Linear Subs : - 50 x 120" ISO 1600 - 25 x 45" ISO 1600 => Almost 2h integration No dark, no flat, no bias.

The Great Carina Nebula : A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxys largest star forming regions. Like the smaller, more northerly Great Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is easily visible to the unaided eye, though at a distance of 7,500 light-years it is some 5 times farther away. This gorgeous telescopic close-up reveals remarkable details of the regions central glowing filaments of interstellar gas and obscuring cosmic dust clouds. The field of view is over 50 light-years across. The Carina Nebula is home to young, extremely massive stars, including the stars of open cluster Trumpler 14 . While Eta Carinae itself maybe on the verge of a supernova explosion, X-ray images indicate that the Great Carina Nebula has been a veritable supernova factory. via NASA

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Geostationary Highway through Orion 

Put a satellite in a circular orbit about 42,000 kilometers from the center of the Earth and it will orbit once in 24 hours. Because that matches Earth’s rotation period, it is known as a geosynchronous orbit. If that orbit is also in the plane of the equator, the satellite will hang in the sky over a fixed location in a geostationary orbit.

As predicted in the 1940s by futurist Arthur C. Clarke, geostationary orbits are in common use for communication and weather satellites, a scenario now well-known to astroimagers. Deep images of the night sky made with telescopes that follow the stars can also pick up geostationary satellites glinting in sunlight still shining far above the Earth’s surface. Because they all move with the Earth’s rotation against the background of stars, the satellites leave trails that seem to follow a highway across the celestial landscape. The phenomenon was captured last month in this video showing several satellites in geostationary orbit crossing the famous Orion Nebula.

Credit: James A. DeYoung

The Pleiades Star Cluster, imaged through an 8" Newtonian telescope

Astrophotographers Scott Lange and Nick Foster want to capture the cosmos using the 129-year-old Great Lick Refractor — a massive telescope 36 inches in diameter. Equipped with a custom-made adapter to attach the telescope to a DSLR camera, the photographers plan to use this mighty lens to capture nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies. 

The Blue Snowball Nebula imaged through the Great Lick Refractor using a Canon 6D DSLR camera

The Orion Nebula, imaged through an 8" Newtonian telescope

Messier 33 (spiral galaxy)

Learn more and support the project here.

The Orion Nebula in Visible and Infrared : The Great Nebula in Orion is a colorful place. Visible to the unaided eye, it appears as a small fuzzy patch in the constellation of Orion. Long exposure, multi-wavelength images like this, however, show the Orion Nebula to be a busy neighborhood of young stars, hot gas, and dark dust. This digital composite features not only three colors of visible light but four colors of infrared light taken by NASAs orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope as well. The power behind much of the Orion Nebula is the Trapezium - four of the brightest stars in the nebula. Many of the filamentary structures visible are actually shock waves - fronts where fast moving material encounters slow moving gas. The Orion Nebula spans about 40 light years and is located about 1500 light years away in the same spiral arm of our Galaxy as the Sun. via NASA

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Start with the constellation of Orion. Below Orion’s belt is a fuzzy area known as the Great Nebula of Orion. In this nebula is a bright star cluster known as the Trapezium, marked by four bright stars near the image center. The newly born stars in the Trapezium and surrounding regions show the Orion Nebula to be one of the most active areas of star formation to be found in our area of the Galaxy. In Orion, supernova explosions and close interactions between stars have created rogue planets and stars that rapidly move through space. Some of these fast stars have been found by comparing different images of this region taken by the Hubble Space Telescope many years apart. Many of the stars in the featured image, taken in visible and near-infrared light, appear unusually red because they are seen through dust that scatters away much of their blue light. 

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble

Infrared Orion from WISE

The Great Nebula in Orion is an intriguing place. Visible to the unaided eye, it appears as a small fuzzy patch in the constellation of Orion. But this image, an illusory-color four-panel mosaic taken in different bands of infrared light with the Earth orbiting WISE observatory, shows the Orion Nebula to be a bustling neighborhood or recently formed stars, hot gas, and dark dust. The power behind much of the Orion Nebula (M42) is the stars of the Trapezium star cluster, seen near the center of the above wide field image. The orange glow surrounding the bright stars pictured here is their own starlight reflected by intricate dust filaments that cover much of the region. The current Orion Nebula cloud complex, which includes the Horsehead Nebula, will slowly disperse over the next 100,000 years.

Image credit: WISE, IRSA, NASA; Processing & Copyright : Francesco Antonucci