Orion's Sword (M42, M43, NGC1977)

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About this Image

The Orion's Sword is an astronomical asterism in the constellation Orion. It comprises three stars (c, Theta, and Iota Orionis) under the prominent asterism, Orion's Belt. M42, the Great Orion Nebula is located in the center of this image.
The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, or NGC 1976 and just above M 42) is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across.
Near the top of the image the dark and blue regions suggest the shape of a running man, this area is designated to NGC 1973/1975/1977.

Technical Details


16" Cassegrain in primary focus at f/3, FL 1200mm

Mount DDM-85-XL direct drive GEM mount
Camera Nikon D810A with remote timer
Date Dec 2014
Location Wildon / Austria
Sky Conditions mag 19 sky, temperature 5 C
Exposure 36x1 min at ISO1600 combined, unguided
Programs used ImagesPlus
Photoshop CS5