The Orion Nebula

The Orion Nebula is an emission nebula. The gas glows by emitting light at discrete wavelengths characteristic of the elements making up the gas cloud. As a result, it is possible to image the nebula with narrow band filters that only allow light at discrete wavelengths to pass through the filter. This image takes advantage of that fact by using three different narrow band filters for the red, green, and blue channels of an RGB image. The three filters captured an emission band from hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfer, respectively. This is a region in which new stars are being born. The Orion Nebula was designated as M42 in the Messier Catalog.

This image is a false color CCD image taken with a hydrogen-alpha filter, an OIII filter, and an SII filter, using an SBIG STL-11000M CCD on a Takahashi FCT-150 telescope from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona. The image data was acquired over the course of four different nights.

M42 (NGC 1976)
Constellation: Orion
RA: 05h 35m 43s Dec: -05d 23' 06"
January 11-15, 2008
Image by Sid Leach
Scottsdale, Arizona

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