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M42  (NGC 1976),  The  Great  orion  Nebula

    This is my best film version of this famous nebula. HERE is my best CCD version.  M42 is one of the first objects from which a beginning astrophotographer can get a recognizable image. It's big, it's bright, and it's easy to find. Once those first pictures are in the archive, the novice begins to compare his shot with those of the experts. Hmmm.... Actually, M42 is quite a difficult object to do really well. Its range of brightness is very great, so it's very hard to get the Trapezium stars and the faint red and blue nebulosity to all register properly. M43 is the comma-shaped object just to the left (north) of the main bulk of M42. The Running Man blue reflection nebula (NGC 1977, left in the above shot) is a tenuous object and demands good blue response in the film. These structures are about 1600 lightyears from Earth. This version is a step up from my early version but it's still a long ways from those expert shots (I'll let you find those on the links page).

 Date  2000 December 27
 Scope  Astro-Physics 130 f6 on G-11 mount, ST-4 guiding
 Exposure  Kodak LE 400, 1 @ 15 min; 1 @ 39 min, both with Tokai filter          
 Processing   Stacked in RegiStar, stretched in PhotoShop