The Great Nebula
in Orion, also known as M42, is one of the
most famous nebulae in the sky.
The star forming region's glowing gas clouds and hot young stars
are near the center of this colorful
sky image that includes the smaller
and dusty, bluish reflection nebulae
NGC 1977 and friends on the left.
Located at the edge of an otherwise invisible giant molecular
complex, these eye-catching nebulae represent only a small
fraction of this galactic neighborhood's wealth of
Captured with very modest equipment, the gorgeous skyscape was
awarded Best in Show at the
Starfest International Salon of Astrophotography.
Judges commented that the detail and shading were exquisite
in this version of a classic astronomical image.
The field spans nearly 3 degrees or about 75 light-years
at the Orion Nebula's estimated distance of 1,500 light-years.
(Weather and Sky