Messier 42, The Orion Nebula

The Orion Nebula (M42): The Orion Nebula is one of the most famous nebulae in the sky. Composed of clouds of hydrogen, it glows due to the intense energy released from stars within it. In fact, this is a very complex region of space. As the gas in the cloud becomes denser in some areas, it begins to collapse in on itself. This process eventually forms stars and will continue until there is little or no gas left. However, many hundreds or even thousands of stars will be left behind. The nebula is found in Orion and is located in his sword, just below the belt. In dark skies the nebula can be seen with the unaided eye. With binoculars, the nebula appears to have some structure. Its full beauty can be seen in a small telescope and only gets better with a bigger scope.

Image Credit: Gateway to the
Great Orion Nebula M42 in Hα light
Orion Nebula. Image Credit: Brightway Photography

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