Look up And Wonder
29th Dec. 2011 :: The Nebulas in Orion


I was photographing the nebulas in Orion tonight. I'm quite pleased with the result though it's pretty difficult to optimise to get the best out of each of the Nebulas...

From top left to bottom right you can see the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), then the Horsehead Nebula, which is also known as Barnard 33 (both of these named for obvious reasons!). The star between them by the way, is Alnitak, which is farthest west on Orion's Belt. Further down and to the right is the small Running Man Nebula (NGC 1973) and then the famous Great Orion Nebula (M42).

The Orion Nebula is about 1250 light years away from Earth and about 24 light years across. It is a star forming region where new stars are being born and their light is lighting up the surrounding dust and gas. Large telescopes have photographed protoplanetary disks which are planet forming regions around these new stars. I wonder what the distant future holds for those planets?


Large, on black [Flickr]



Image Field of View


Here is a closer crop of the Flame & Horsehead with slightly different processing.


Large, on black [Flickr]



Image Field of View




Comments (2)

Newest first Oldest first

  1. vonevilstein

    Dude, fantastic picture. I had no idea those three nebulas are so close together in the sky. I should read my hubble books instead of just looking at the pretty pictures....;)

    #1 – 17 January, 2012 at 9:48 am

  2. James

    Yeah, it's actually quite surprising. I had intended to image this region but I had assumed that I'd have to make a mosaic to cover it all.

    My Megrez has a wide field of view however and after some tweaking and playing with the camera orientation I managed to get it all in.

    I've added a Stellarium image above with the approximate Field of View marked in red.

    #2 – 17 January, 2012 at 12:10 pm

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I am an amateur astronomer; I am interested in science, innovation, astronomy and general musing about philosophies of life, the universe and our place in it.

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