M42 : The Orion Nebula
Famous diffuse emission/reflection nebula called the Orion Nebula may be found in the constellation of Orion. It is sometimes referred to as the Great Orion Nebula or Messier 42 (M42). NGC 1976 is its designation in the New General Catalogue.
Alternate NAMES :
The Great Orion Nebula
RA 5h 35.3 m
Dec -5º 23′
One of the brightest nebulae in the sky, the Orion nebula is plainly visible to the unaided eye. Nicholas Peiresc made the discovery in 1610. (previously it had only been classified as a star – Theta Orionis). The Orion nebula is surrounded by several (fainter) nebulae, and numerous stars are developing in this region. Of all the nebulae in the sky, the Orion nebula is perhaps the one that is being researched the most.
The Orion Nebula Region on a Map
This illustration of the bright nebulae in Orion’s constellation demonstrates how the Orion Nebula (M42) is merely a small portion of a much larger group of these objects. The most significant nebulae have names. Another area of star formation and home to the well-known “Horsehead” dark nebula is the IC 434 region, which is located above the Orion nebula. A tiny nebula called M78 is well known for being one of the brightest “reflection nebulae” in the sky. Barnard’s Loop is a massive semicircular nebula that almost completely encircles the constellation, although it is so faint that it can only be seen on long-exposure images. A weak nebula connected to a star cluster is the Lambda Orionis nebula at the summit of the constellation.
Where to look for M42,The Orion Nebula
You must first find the Orion constellation in the night sky if you wish to find this magnificent nebula. If you look at the right time of year, it is quite simple to detect. The Northern Hemisphere’s winter season is the ideal time to become acquainted with this wonderful work of the heavens. Once you’ve located the three medium-bright stars that make up Orion’s Belt in a short, straight row, the constellation is easy to identify.
Perhaps the greatest deep-sky object for a beginner is the Orion Nebula. Here are a few general pointers for beginning astrophotography:
You should have no trouble locating the Orion Nebula beneath Orion’s Belt in conditions of complete darkness. The three stars of Orion’s Belt have a curving line of stars “hanging” from them, as may be seen with the naked eye with careful examination. The constellation in question is Orion’s Sword. About halfway down the Sword of Orion, look for the Orion Nebula, also known as M42. It will seem as a tiny, hazy white spot to your eyes. Much more detail than can be seen with the naked eye is revealed in long-exposure photos like the one above.
LOOK UP IN THE SKY, find out Orion Nebula and you will surely keep looking AT THIS BEAUTY.