Arguably the most spectacular deepsky object in the night sky, observing M42 (Messier 42) through a telescope is a truly unforgettable experience.
In terms of astrophotography, it is one of the most gratifying deep sky objects you could ever photograph through a telescope. The rich glowing emission gas and reflected starlight of the Orion Nebula embody the breathtaking beauty of our Universe.
The Orion Nebula is so bright, that it is possible to observe it with the naked eye. With an apparent magnitude of +4, this glowing emission nebula/reflection nebula can even be enjoyed from locations with moderate light pollution.
You’ll find Messier 42 in the “Sword” of the Orion constellation, which are the 3 stars located south of Orion’s Belt. It may look like just another “star” at first, but a closer look (even without the aid of binoculars) will reveal a fuzzy patch.
This diffuse nebula is estimated to be about 24 light-years across and is the closest region of active star formation to Earth.
Tech details: Optolong L-Pro 2": 69x300sec (gain: 0.00) -10C bin 1x1 Optolong L-eXtreme 2": 144x420sec (gain: 100.00) -10C bin 1x1 Overall, 22.6 hours of imaging time. Equipment: Scope: GSO 8" f/8 RC Mount: iOptron CEM70 Imaging camera: ZWO ASI2600MC Guiding camera: Starlight Xpress Lodestar x2 Guider: ZWO Thin Off-Axis Guider Focuser: Moonlite Focuser with step motor Software: Starkeeper Voyager, Stark Labs PHD 2.6, Lunatic Astronomical Good Night System [GNS], PixInsight 1.8.8-6, Astro Pixel Processor