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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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M42 (Orion Nebula), Brad Tindall

M42 Orion Nebula

The Orion Nebula M42 is the brightest diffuse nebula in the sky, and one of the brightest deepsky objects of all. Shining with the brightness of a star of 4th magnitude, it is visible to the naked eye under moderately good conditions, and rewarding in telescopes of every size, from the smallest glasses to the greatest Earth-bound observatories as well as outer-space observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope. It is also a big object in the sky, extending to over 1 degree in diameter, which means it covers more than four times the area of a full Moon. It was possibly discovered in 1610 by Nicholas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, but was independently found by Johann Baptist Cysatus in 1611. This image shown is of the bright central region that glows brightly from the radiation emitted from several very bright stars.

As stated previously, M42 is the brightest diffuse nebula in the sky. This is demonstrated in our image, with a great amount of light shining from the nebula. A rewarding image, the color and gas can be seen fairly easy here. The nebula itself is a very turbulent cloud of gas and dust, and the interesting details can be seen in my image. One may note its size by comparing the main portion of the nebula with the numerous amount of stars around it. The size of M42 (Orion Nebula) is 4.2 light years.


Right Ascension (J2000) 05 : 35.4
Declination (J2000) -05 : 27
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 60 seconds B,V,R,C
Date observed

March 13th, 2006 (R,V)
March 15th, 2006 (B)
March 20th, 2006 (C)