Date: February 15-17,19-20,22 2023

110 x 3 minutes
73 x 3 minutes
93 x 30seconds

Total: 12hr 21min 30secs

About This Image


Telescope: Stellarvue SVX130T-R
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount MX
Camera: Player One Poseidon-C Pro
Filter: Optolong L-Quad Enhance, Player One Anti-Halo Dual-Band Ha+OIII 2"
Accessories: 3.5" Feathertouch • Stellarvue SFFX2
Guiding: Starfield 50mm Guide Scope • Player One Neptune 664C • PHD2
Software: Photoshop • PixInsight • TheSkyX • Starkeeper Voyager • GraXpert


The Great Orion Nebula, also known as Messier 42 or M42, is a remarkable stellar nursery located in the Orion Constellation, approximately 1,350 light-years away from Earth[1][2]. This cosmic wonder is about 2 million years old and spans around 24 light-years across, emitting a beautiful bluish/greenish hue from ionized oxygen, along with red and blue shades from hydrogen and other elements[1]. Within the Orion Nebula lies the Trapezium Cluster, consisting of four bright stars that illuminate and shape the nebula with their intense radiation[1]. This nebula is part of the larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, one of the most active star-forming regions visible in the sky[1].

The Orion Nebula is a bustling stellar nursery filled with towering pillars of gas and dust that house young stars sculpted by stellar winds and ultraviolet light emitted by hot young stars in the Trapezium Cluster[1]. This celestial masterpiece has captivated civilizations worldwide, with ancient cultures like the Maya interpreting it as the cosmic fire of creation[1]. The Orion Nebula plays a crucial role in understanding star formation processes, offering insights into how stars like our Sun come into existence and shape their surrounding environments in space[1]. Notably, it was the first nebula to be successfully photographed in 1880 by Henry Draper, marking a significant milestone in astronomical observation and research[2].

The Running Man Nebula, also known as NGC 1977 or Sh2-279, is a reflection nebula located in the Orion constellation about 1,460 light-years away from Earth. This nebula is composed of three nebulae: NGC 1973, NGC 1975, and NGC 1977, with NGC 1977 also known as the Ghost Nebula due to its resemblance to a cartoon ghost floating through space. Discovered by William Herschel in 1786, the Running Man Nebula is often photographed alongside the Orion Nebula due to their proximity[2][5].



Distance: 12,000 light-years
Size: 100 light-years


Location in the Night Sky

(Star Chart created using PixInsight)


All Images    Craig Sherris