The Great Orion Nebula M42 – Serra D’Aire



The well known Great Nebula M42, in Orion constelalltions, is one of the brightest nebulae in the celestial sphere, cleary visible to the naked eye with an apparent visual magnitude of 4, is located at a distance of about 1500 light years. At about 30 light-years in diameter, this great big cocoon nebulous is giving birth to perhaps a thousand stars. Physically part of the Great Nebula (in this image, at left of M42) is M43, a “circular” shaped emission nebula that appears separated from M42 by a dark dust lane in the foreground. Near the left edge of this picture, is an interstellar cloud of dust reflecting light from hot young stars. It is composed of three regions known as NGC 1977, NGC 1975, and NGC 1973.

The Orion nebula is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth, and has revealed much about the process of how stars and planetary systems are formed from collapsing clouds of gas and dust. Astronomers have identified around 700 stars that are formed from this nebula. The red areas in the nebula are mostly shining from hot hydrogen gas in the nebula. The blue areas are mostly dust that reflects the light of the hot blue stars. The red hue is a result of the Hα recombination line radiation at a wavelength of 656.3 nm. The blue-violet coloration is the reflected radiation from the massive O-class stars at the core of the nebula. This nebula is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, that includes M78 and the Horsehead Nebula.

Captured in the sky of Serra de Aire,  near the Mira de Aire complex Caves in 08/12/2013 at 3:52 AM – Canon 60Da; ISO 2500, Exp: 21s. at f/7 with a focal 570mm + Travel mount Vixen Polarie + Astro Professional ED 80. Sum of 51 pictures combined in Maxim DL 5

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