The Orion's Belt & Sword

Field centered on R.A. 05h 37' & Dec. -03 55'


Adrift 1,500 light-years away in one of the night sky's most recognizable constellations, the glowing Orion Nebula and the dark Horsehead Nebula are contrasting cosmic vistas. But even fainter filaments of glowing gas are easily traced throughout the region when exposures are taken with narrow band filter to record emission from hydrogen atoms. The view reveals extensive nebulosities associated with the giant Orion Molecular Cloud complex, itself hundreds of light-years across. A magnificent emission region, the Orion Nebula (aka M42) lies at the upper right of the picture. Immediately to its left is the Running Man cluster and its associated reflection nebulae. The Horsehead nebula appears as a dark cloud, a small silhouette notched against the long red glow left of center. Alnitak is the easternmost star in Orion's belt and the brightest star to the left of the Horsehead. Below Alnitak is the Flame Nebula, with clouds of bright emission and dramatic dark dust lanes (text adapted from APOD).

Below are two enlargements of the Horsehead and M42 areas at about 50% of the original resolution.


Exposure (min):
Pentax SXD75 + Vixen Atlux + SBIG STL11K + Optec Ha filter Mosaic of 2 Ha=180

Gambugliano (Vi) - Italy





All of the photographs and text on these pages are copyrighted by Marco Lorenzi. They may not be reproduced, published, copied or transmitted in any form, including electronically on the Internet or World Wide Web, without written permission of the author.