A fine summer object, located in the region above Orion’s Belt (which is generally known as Orion’s Sword – but sometimes also irreverently called Orion’s Donger), this amazing large object is easily found and is visible to the naked eye in a dark sky.
Messier 42, NGC 1976, LBN 974.
Visual magnitude: +4.0
Apparent diameter: 85 x 60.0 arc-min. (about 2 Lunar Diameters).
Actual diameter: 35 light years.
Distance: 1,400 light years.
Also visible in this image are:
The smaller bright nebula, M43;
2nd magnitude quadruple star Iota Orionis; and
wide double star Struve 747.
Exposure: 6 x 60 sec, ISO 1600.
Location: Leumeah, NSW.
Sky: suburban sky, some cloud.
Moon: 4 day crescent, low in West.
Processing: Canon DPP > Deep Sky Stacker > GIMP.
Imaging telescope: Skywatcher Esprit 120ED Super APO triplet refractor.
Focal length: 840 mm, focal ratio: f/7.
Imaging camera: Canon EOS 60D.
Guiding: off (due to RA corrections failing).
Telescope mount: SkyWatcher EQ6-R.
Polar aligning: QHYCCD PoleMaster.
Field flattener: yes; filter: no.
Image © R.Powell