Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Orion Nebula, M42

As with the earlier photos of galaxies M81 and M82, I wish I could say that I took these photos, but they were taken by a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, who was selling them at a public education event (at the local farmer’s market in Old Strathcona, Edmonton, Canada, to be exact).

It’s a bit overexposed, but still pretty. 

The Orion Nebula is a major star forming region, the closest one to the Earth, at something over 1200 light years.  It’s easy to find in a small telescope or binoculars, in a dark sky it is even visible to those with excellent night vision.  It’s just under the belt of Orion (the sword).  It's best seen in the evening in mid-winter, so dress warmly.

From the movie Blade Runner:

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tennhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die.

More about the Orion nebula from Wiki:

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