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Digging deeper into the Orion Nebula

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Lovely night here tonight with lots of winter showpieces strutting their stuff in the eyepiece of my 12 inch dobsonian :grin:

Although dark, it was not quite dark enough to show the Horsehead Nebula despite the Flame Nebula showing quite well. Leaving the filter on the eyepiece I diverted to the Orion Nebula to see how it looked in H-Beta.

Rather nice views with some areas of the nebula enhanced and others less so. A different view of this famous object, which was interesting.

One feature that the H-Beta filter pulled out markedly is a bar of nebulosity which apparently is known as "The Sail" by some. I assume that this must be a stronger hydrogen emitting area of the nebula.

During a break in observing (to warm up !) I found this interesting Sky & Telescope piece on the structure we can see within Messier 42 and how that corresponds with it's 3-dimensional shape:


Other features such as "The Cliff" and "The Fish's Mouth" described in the piece above, are nicely on show tonight as well but a filter is not really needed to make those out. Applying magnification to the central area of the nebula enhances the mottled texture of the Hygenian Region although the greenish hue mentioned in the article was not outstanding to my, rather older, eye.

The spectacle was enhanced further by E & F members of the Trapezium stars being nice and clear.

Its fun to try and use what we can see visually to get an idea of the full scale, shape and depth of this star forming region.

One of the all time highlights of the deep sky, no doubt about it :icon_biggrin:



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Great report which means I’ll have to do some revision! Loads of folks coming round tonight to enjoy tandem viewing with one of the options being the ED150. M42 will be top of the list. Thanks for posting.

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