M42 in Orion

Well, of course one has to image M42. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 ± 20 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. The nebula has revealed much about the process of how stars and planetary systems are formed from collapsing clouds of gas and dust. Astronomers have directly observed protoplanetary disks, brown dwarfs, intense and turbulent motions of the gas, and the photo-ionizing effects of massive nearby stars in the nebula. This image was taken on January 15th, 2010, and is composed of ten minute and 60 second exposures, then combined to get greater dynamic range. Total exposure time is 1 hour and 6 minutes.

All images © Mel Martin 2017     Contact Me