M 42

The Orion nebula M42 is a large emission nebula, largely hydrogen, and part of the Orion molecular cloud complex OMC-1, located below the Orion belt. M42 is one of the brightest gas nebula and is clearly visible to the naked eye. At a distance of only 414 pc (1350 light-years), M42 is an active star formation region.

Here is a first “test” picture of the Orion Nebula (M42). Taken in my Noordwijk garden on 22 March 2011 with the WO 110 FLT Triplet APO, field flattener, and the Canon EOS 450D in prime focus. Exposure was 5 minutes, no filter. Clearly the alignment of the CGEM mount is not good at all, and I did not guide (don’t have an off-axis guider or auto-guider yet) as there are significant star trails. But, the diffuse gas nebula and even some hints of colours can be clearly seen.

Below: the great gas nebula M42 in Orion (3 Feb 2014). The two images are processed images of M42 in b&w and color (approx RGB): Three individual images were first subtracted by their equivalent dark images and added (using fitswork). Some enhancement was done with GIMP. Total exposure for each image = 181 seconds.

M42, 3. February 2014, Noordwijk, William Optics 110 mm APO LT f/7, Canon EOS 600D, UV-IR, UHC, 400 ISO, stack of three exposures (fitswork).