|Description of object:
Our image shows a wide angle view of the region of the large Orion
nebula Messier 42 and Messier 43, with NGC 2024, IC 434 and the dark nebula
Barnard 33, the famous Horsehead Nebula, in the lower left corner. There is no
space to describe this region in detail. More detailed information about this
be found here.
The nebula region is complex and the largest star
formation area (Emission Nebula, H-II), which can be seen with the naked eye in
the northern starry sky. However, compared to NGC 3372 (Carina Nebula), NGC
3357 and NGC 2070 in the large Magellanic Cloud in the southern sky, the Orion
complex is much smaller.
The Orion Nebula developed from a part of the
much larger interstellar cool molecular cloud, which is clearly visible in our
picture in reddish brown colour. With a distance of about 1350 light years, it
is one of the most active star forming regions in the galactic neighbourhood of
the Solar System, and therefore a preferred object of observation for
understanding star formation.
The main ionization source of the Orion
Nebula (Messier 42) is Orionis C1, which is also one of the most luminous stars
known, with more than 200,000 times the luminosity of the Sun. It is part of
the group of stars in the Orion trapezium. The neighbouring De Mairans Nebula,
Messier 43, has a different ionising source - the variable star NU Orionis (HD
37061) and is therefore not part of the Orion Nebula Messier 42. Unfortunately
our short exposed images of the core area of M 42 are still too long and the
area is therefore overexposed. But the brownish red molecular cloud is quite
nice to see.