Orion Constellation

Orion Constellation, M42, M43, Horsehead Nebula,
Orion Constellation 03/12/2004 Film
Orion Constellation Wide Field labeled
Orion Constellation Wide Field labeled

The photo of Orion was taken with slide film from a Dark Sky location near Dexter, Oregon.   Canon F1 camera, 50mm f/1.4 lens with Elite Chrome 200 film for 8 minutes and pushed processed.  The Camera was piggybacked on a Losmandy G 11 Mount and manually guided through a telescope.

Orion is a constellation near the celestial equator and dominated by bright stars, it is certainly one of the most prominent and recognized constellations.   Orion depicts a Hunter from Greek Mythology with the two most noteworthy stars being Rigel (blue-white) & Betelgeuse (Red Giant).

Observations of Orion back to 32,000 years and probably further.  In Ancient Egypt, Orion was a God and certainly is prevalent in many cultures of the past.  Some theories suggest the pyramids were fashioned after the belt stars of Orion, likewise the Nile Rivers depicts the Milky Way.

M 42 Great Orion Nebula

Great Orion Nebula M42 & NGC 1973, NGC 1975 & NGC 1977

Great Orion Nebula 1344 Light Years

M 42 Great Orion Nebula, Pictured above. Next to it is M43 (NGC 1982) along with the blue nebula called “The Running man” NGC 1977. The start cluster NGC 1981 is superimposed over the blue nebula. The pinkish nebula composes of M42 & M43 at magnitude 4, and is visible a a one degree fuzzy patch to the naked eye. These nebulae reside in the sword of Orion below the left bright belt star Alnitak. This region of nebulae is approximately 1344 light years from earth and 12 light years in diameter. 60 x 60 arc-minutes .

M42 Orion Nebula & Running Man Nebula NGC 1973
Zoom in View of Trapezium, 4 central stars formed in the nebula, they are 15-30 solar mass each.

Telescope / LensTEC 140 f/7 5.5″ Refractor 980mm focal length
Mount AstroPhysics 1200
CameraCanon EOS 20d DSLR
 Exposure88 minutes; 5min exposures @ ISO 400, 800, 1600 & 1 minute @ ISO 100
 ProcessingDeep SkyStacker, CCDStack, Photoshop CS2 & Picture Wind Pro
 DateImages taken 09/12/2007
 Location June Mountain 122° 43.528′ W, 43° 48.407′ N
22 miles S of Dexter, Oregon
Conditions3232′ clear calm skies magnitude 6

The Orion nebula M42 is even visible in light polluted skies with the naked eye. Dark sky locations show a glowing gaseous area the middle star of the “sword” of Orion. These stars are located south of Orion’s belt. Wide Field eyepieces in a 10-14″ scope really brings out the detail.