M42 - Great Orion Nebula

M 42 - the Great Orion Nebula - is the closest star-producing region to Earth. It is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, lying 1,350 light years away and spanning 24 light years. It is easily visible to the naked eye, appearing as a fuzzy patch of light in the middle of Orion's sword.

The small, bright area of nebulosity below the core (separated by a thin dust lane) has its own Messier number - M 43. This is also known as DeMairan's Nebula, named for its discoverer.

Also visible is NGC 1973-75-77 (the "Running Man" Nebula). This is the bluish reflection nebulae below the Orion Nebula.  

Telescope: Pentax 75EDHF
Camera: Canon 650D (Hap Griffin modified); raw capture; ISO 800
Mount: Orion Sirius guided by SSAG on 50mm Stellarvue finder scope
Exposures: 18 @ 5 min.; 18 @ 30 sec. (for core)
Note: Images were focused using the camera's live view. They were calibrated, aligned, and combined in ImagesPlus. The core and overall images were combined using a layer mask. The final image was adjusted in Photoshop. Topaz Detail and DeNoise were applied.
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