Tag Archives: The Orion Molecular Cloud Complex

M42

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The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion’s Belt in theconstellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. 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. It has a mass of about 2000 times the mass of the Sun. Older texts frequently refer to the Orion Nebula as the Great Nebula in Orion or the Great Orion Nebula.
The Orion Nebula is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky, and is among the most intensely studied celestial features.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.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Borg 71FL
Imaging cameras: Canon / CentralDS EOS 60D
Mounts: Sky-Watcher EQ-6 Skyscan
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Borg 50 Achromat 50/250
Focal reducers: Borg Super reducer
Software: PixInsight, BinaryRivers BackyardEOS
Dates: March 9, 2013
Frames: 25×360″ ISO1600 -20C
Integration: 2.5 hours

Author: Emanuele Todini
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 21 Sep 2014

Nebulae in Orion

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The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33 in emission nebula IC 434) is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. The nebula is located just to the south of the star Alnitak, which is farthest east on Orion’s Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex.
The reflection nebula NGC 2023 is in the constellation Orion. It is one of the brightest sources of fluorescent molecular hydrogen, and at 4 light-years wide it is one of the largest in the sky. It is powered by the B star (B1.5) HD 37903, the most luminous member of a cluster of young stellar objects illuminating the front surface of the Lynds 1630 molecular cloud (Barnard 33) in Orion B.

The Flame Nebula, designated as NGC 2024 and Sh2-277, is an emission nebula in the constellation Orion. It is about 900 to 1,500light-years away. The bright star Alnitak (ζ Ori), the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion, shines energetic ultraviolet light into the Flame and this knocks electrons away from the great clouds of hydrogen gas that reside there.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Takahashi TSA 102 f/8
Imaging cameras: Canon EOS 1000D / Rebel XS
Mounts: Takahashi EM-400 Temma2
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Lunatico EZG60
Guiding cameras: QHYCCD QHY5
Software: PHD guiding, PixInsight, Bahtinov Grabber
Filters: Astronomik CLS CCD clip in
Dates: Feb. 12, 2012
Frames: Astronomik CLS CCD clip in: 12×600″ ISO800
Integration: 2.0 hours
Darks: ~20
Flats: ~20
Bias: ~20

Author: Alberto Pisabarro
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 15 Aug 2014

M 78 in Orion

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The nebula Messier 78 (also known as M 78 or NGC 2068) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780 and included by Charles Messier in his catalog of comet-like objects that same year.

M78 is the brightest diffuse reflection nebula of a group of nebulae that include NGC 2064, NGC 2067 and NGC 2071. This group belongs to the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and is about 1,600 light years distant from Earth. M78 is easily found in small telescopes as a hazy patch and involves two stars of 10th magnitude. These two stars, HD 38563A and HD 38563B, are responsible for making the cloud of dust in M78 visible by reflecting their light.

About 45 variable stars of the T Tauri type, young stars still in the process of formation as well as some 17 Herbig–Haro objects are known in M78.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Geoptik “Formula25″ Newton 10″ 1250mm
Imaging cameras: Home made 450D Cmos Cooled – Baader
Mounts: Sky-Watcher NEQ6
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Geoptik 50/200 mm finderscope
Guiding cameras: Shoestring Astronomy USB Guide Port Interface, Xbox LiveWebcam
Software: photoshop, Pleiades Astrophoto, S.L. PixInsinght 1.8 RC7
Filters: HUTECH IDAS LPS P2
Accessories: Giosi Made Fasce anticondensa, Home made Arduino Focuser (project sir Jolo – ascom-jolo-focuser), Baader MPCC mpcc coma correcteur
Dates: Dec. 4, 2013, Dec. 5, 2013
Frames:
48×300″ -45C
HUTECH IDAS LPS P2: 45×300″ 5C
Integration: 7.8 hours

Author:  Giosi Amante
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 30 July 2014

The Horsehead Nebula from Blue to Infrared 

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Image Credit & Copyright: Optical: Aldo Mottino & Carlos Colazo, OAC, Córdoba; Infrared: Hubble Legacy Archive

 One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s. The red glow originates from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis. The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust, although the lower part of the Horsehead’s neck casts a shadow to the left. Streams of gas leaving the nebula are funneled by a strong magnetic field. Bright spots in the Horsehead Nebula’s base are young stars just in the process of forming. Light takes about 1,500 years to reach us from the Horsehead Nebula. The above image is a digital combination of images taken in blue, green, red, and hydrogen-alpha light from the Argentina, and an image taken in infrared light by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.

APOD NASA 28-Jul-2014

M 78 in Orion

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The nebula Messier 78 (also known as M 78 or NGC 2068) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780 and included by Charles Messier in his catalog of comet-like objects that same year.

M78 is the brightest diffuse reflection nebula of a group of nebulae that include NGC 2064, NGC 2067 and NGC 2071. This group belongs to the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and is about 1,600 light years distant from Earth. M78 is easily found in small telescopes as a hazy patch and involves two stars of 10th magnitude. These two stars,HD 38563A and HD 38563B, are responsible for making the cloud of dust in M78 visible by reflecting their light.

About 45 variable stars of the T Tauri type, young stars still in the process of formation as well as some 17 Herbig–Haro objects are known in M78.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Meade Starfinder 10″
Imaging cameras: QSI 683wsg-8
Mounts: Losmandy G11
Guiding cameras: The Imaging Source DMK41AF02.AS
Software: Main Sequence Software Sequence Generator Pro, PHD guiding, PixInsight, photoshop
Filters: B, R, L, Astronomik Green
Dates: Jan. 4, 2014
Frames: 48×300″
Integration: 4.0 hours

Author: Andrew Lockwood
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
16 June 2014

Orion Nebula

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The entirety of the Orion Nebula extends across a 1° region of the sky, and includes neutral clouds of gas and dust, associations of stars,ionized volumes of gas, and reflection nebulae.

The Nebula is part of a much larger nebula that is known as the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The Orion Molecular Cloud Complex extends throughout the constellation of Orion and includes Barnard’s Loop, the Horsehead Nebula, M43, M78, and the Flame Nebula. Stars are forming throughout the Orion Nebula, and due to this heat-intensive process the region is particularly prominent in the infrared.

The nebula forms a roughly spherical cloud that peaks in density near the core. The cloud has a temperature ranging up to 10,000 K, but this temperature falls dramatically near the edge of the nebula.Unlike the density distribution, the cloud displays a range of velocities and turbulence, particularly around the core region. Relative movements are up to 10 km/s (22,000 mi/h), with local variations of up to 50 km/s and possibly more.

The current astronomical model for the nebula consists of an ionized region roughly centered on Theta Orionis C, the star responsible for most of the ultraviolet ionizing radiation. (It emits 3-4 times as much photoionizing light as the next brightest star, Theta2 Orionis A.) This is surrounded by an irregular, concave bay of more neutral, high-density cloud, with clumps of neutral gas lying outside the bay area. This in turn lies on the perimeter of the Orion Molecular Cloud.
Observers have given names to various features in the Orion Nebula. The dark lane that extends from the north toward the bright region is called the “Fish’s Mouth”. The illuminated regions to both sides are called the “Wings”. Other features include “The Sword”, “The Thrust”, and “The Sail”.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Meade Starfinder 10″
Imaging cameras: QSI 683wsg-8
Mounts: Losmandy G11
Guiding cameras: The Imaging Source DMK41AF02.AS
Software: Main Sequence Software Sequence Generator Pro, PHD guiding, PixInsight, photoshop
Filters: B, R, L, Astronomik Green, Astronomik 12nm SII Filter S2 12nm, astronomik 12nm H-Alpha
Dates: Dec. 27, 2013
Frames: 32×300″
Integration: 2.7 hours

Author: Andrew Lockwood
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
15 June 2014

M42: The Orion Nebula

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Interstellar clouds like the Orion Nebula are found throughout galaxies such as the Milky Way. They begin as gravitationally bound blobs of cold, neutral hydrogen, intermixed with traces of other elements. The cloud can contain hundreds of thousands of solar masses and extend for hundreds of light years. The tiny force of gravity that could compel the cloud to collapse is counterbalanced by the very faint pressure of the gas in the cloud.

Whether due to collisions with a spiral arm, or through the shock wave emitted from supernovae, the atoms are precipitated into heavier molecules and the result is a molecular cloud. This presages the formation of stars within the cloud, usually thought to be within a period of 10-30 million years, as regions pass the Jeans mass and the destabilized volumes collapse into disks. The disk concentrates at the core to form a star, which may be surrounded by a protoplanetary disk. This is the current stage of evolution of the nebula, with additional stars still forming from the collapsing molecular cloud. The youngest and brightest stars we now see in the Orion Nebula are thought to be less than 300,000 years old, and the brightest may be only 10,000 years in age.

Some of these collapsing stars can be particularly massive, and can emit large quantities of ionizing ultraviolet radiation. An example of this is seen with the Trapezium cluster. Over time the ultraviolet light from the massive stars at the center of the nebula will push away the surrounding gas and dust in a process called photo evaporation. This process is responsible for creating the interior cavity of the nebula, allowing the stars at the core to be viewed from Earth.The largest of these stars have short life spans and will evolve to become supernovae.

Within about 100,000 years, most of the gas and dust will be ejected. The remains will form a young open cluster, a cluster of bright, young stars surrounded by wispy filaments from the former cloud. The Pleiades is a famous example of such a cluster.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: Sky-Watcher 200/1000 Black Diamond
Mounts: CGEM
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Lunatico Astronomia EZG-60
Guiding cameras: Lunatico Astronomia QHY5-II
Software: Photoshop CS6, PixInsight LE, DeepSkyStacker 3.3.3
Accessories: Baader MPCC Corrector de Coma
Dates: Nov. 10, 2013
Frames:
8×120″ ISO1600 bin 1×1
29×60″ ISO1600 bin 1×1
Integration: 0.8 hours
Bias: ~150

Author: Jose Fco. Del Aguila
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 10 May 2014

Reflection nebula M78

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The nebula Messier 78 (also known as M 78 or NGC 2068) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion.  M78 is the brightest diffuse reflection nebula of a group of nebulae that include NGC 2064, NGC 2067 and NGC 2071. This group belongs to the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and is about 1,600 light years distant from Earth. M78 is easily found in smalltelescopes as a hazy patch and involves two stars of 10th magnitude. These two stars, HD 38563A and HD 38563B, are responsible for making the cloud of dust in M78 visible by reflecting their light.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Stellarvue SV 152
Imaging cameras: Apogee U16M
Mounts: Paramount MX
Software: DC-3 Dreams ACP, PixInsight PixInsinght 1.8 RC7, Maxim DL, photoshop
Filters: Astrodon E-series LRGB
Dates: Nov. 2, 2013
Locations: New Mexico Skies
Frames: 28×600″
Integration: 4.7 hours

Author: Mike Miller

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
11 April 2014

M78 and Reflecting Dust Clouds

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Image Credit & Copyright: Ian Sharp

An eerie blue glow and ominous columns of dark dust highlight M78 and other bright reflection nebula in the constellation of Orion. The dark filamentary dust not only absorbs light, but also reflects the light of several bright blue stars that formed recently in the nebula. Of the two reflection nebulas pictured above, the more famous nebula is M78, in the image center, while NGC 2071 can be seen to its lower left. The same type of scattering that colors the daytime sky further enhances the blue color. M78 is about five light-years across and visible through a small telescope. M78 appears above only as it was 1600 years ago, however, because that is how long it takes light to go from there to here. M78 belongs to the larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex that contains the Great Nebula in Orion and the Horsehead Nebula.

NASA APOD 26-Mar-2014

The Orion Molecular Cloud Complex

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The Orion Molecular Cloud Complex (also often referred to as simply the Orion Complex) refers to a large group of bright nebulae, dark clouds, and young stars located in the constellation of Orion. The cloud itself is between 1,500 and 1,600 light-years away and is hundreds of light-years across. Several parts of the nebula can be observed through binoculars and small telescopes, with some parts (such as the Orion Nebula) being visible to the naked eye.

Nebulae within the complex:
the Orion Nebula
the Horsehead Nebula
Barnard’s Loop
Flame Nebula

Mount: NEQ6 Pro,
Camera: Canon 500Da
Lens: Canon 100mm USM f/4,
Frames: 16x5min, 20x15sec.
Soft: DSS, Iris, Photoshop, Lightroom, Pixinsight

Autor: Pavel Ivanovich

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI

01 February 2014

We select the best works of amateur astrophotographers with details of equipment, shooting processing etc.