M42 Close-up

clic for 50% size 1881 x 1331 (295 kB)


About this Image

Located at a distance of about 1,600 light years, the Orion Nebula is the brightest diffuse nebula in the sky, visible to the naked eye.
The past decades of research on the Orion Nebula have revealed that the visible nebula, M42, the blister of hot, photo-ionized, luminous gas around the 4 hot Trapezium stars, is only a thin layer lying on the surface of a much larger cloud of denser matter, the Orion Molecular Cloud 1 (OMC 1).
The origin of the rich colors are from the H-alpha, H-beta and O-III emissions. North is up.
To the north east the Nebula M43 is visible, bisected by a large dusty area.

Below you see a crop on the center of the image showing the Trapezium area in 40/80% size.

clic for the center in 80% size 1409x992 (365 kB)


Technical Details


16" cassegrain in secondary focus at f/10

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -30C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik LRGB+Ha
Date Feb 09, 2005.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5 sky, low transparency, good seeing (2" raw FWHM) temperature -10 C
Exposure center area: L: 10x10 sec, R:G:B:Ha = 3:3:3:3 minutes (1-minute sub-exposures),
outer area: R:G:B = 15:15:15 minutes (5-minute sub-exposures), 30 min Halpha (10-minute sub-exposures),
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim, image calibration, aligning, DDP in ImagesPlus;
The short exposures were used to establish the inner section, the other for the rest of the image; color balance, curves, unsharp mask in Photoshop;
north is up;