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Orion Nebula (M42)
Nick Hirdes

The Orion Nebula, also know as M42, is a diffuse nebula located in the "sword" of the constellation Orion. A diffuse nebula is a nebula that really does not have any particular shape; it is just a cloud of gas floating in space. However most nebulae can be described as diffuse nebulae. They can further be divided into subcategories such as emission nebulae, reflection nebulae, and dark nebulae. M42 is actually a reflection nebula and an emission nebula. This means that the nebula is primarily made up of ionized gas, mostly hydrogen, which is what gives it its pinkish red color. As a reflection nebula the Orion nebula reflects light coming from its near by stars. This means that there is enough dust particles in the nebula to reflect this light although it is primarily made up of diamond dust there can be other minerals.

The images that I took of this nebula came out extremely well in my mind. While it is not as good as images taken by the Hubble telescope they still came out really well. You can easily see the reddish color that the nebula has; this means that there is plenty of hydrogen present in the nebula. However if you look at the first image you can see just how much light is actually being reflected in the core of the nebula by the near by stars. The second image I feel really shows how there is no real definite shape to the nebula cloud. An important point to mention is the four stars in the second image if you look at them you will notice that they are blue this is actually because they are sitting in front of the nebula or at least they are closer to earth than the more yellow and red stars which sit further in the nebula. Another good point to mention is the dark cloud towards the left of the second image. There are two reasons for this, the first is that the cloud itself is extremely dense and not much light can get through. The second reason is that the cloud is shaded by the rest of the nebula. Finally it is important to note the blue light this is caused by the light of stars reflecting off the dust.

References:

Wikipedia, Reflection nebula

Wikipedia, Emission nebula

Wikipedia, Orion Nebula

Wikipedia, Nebula

Right Ascension (J2000) 05:35:33
Declination (J2000) -05:20:11
Filters used B (Blue), C (Clear), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure x number of images for each filter

V and R (1x.001);

B and C (3 x.001)

Image dimension 1092x736 1057x720
Date/time observed March, 17. 2016
Distance 412 PC Wikipidea
Scale 0.120 pc/arcminute

 

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