Orion Nebula M42

The innermost part of the Great Nebula in Orion (Messier 42, NGC 1976) taken in BVR filters for a roughly true-color view, from data obtained using the 1-meter Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope (JKT) operated on La Palma by the SARA consortium. (These data were obtained during the Live Astronomy event at DragonCon in 2018). The four bright stars constitute the Trapezium; most of the ionizing radiation for this part of the nebula comes from the hottest of these stars. The stars show up more clearly in this (gaudily colored) image comparing the Hα view (green) with near-UV and near-IR filters (ble and red), from the SARA 1-meter telescope at Kitt Peak and taken during the 2017 Live Astronomy events at DragonCon.

A wider view (encompassing M43 as well) comes from the 130-mm guide scope of the University of Alabama observatory, using a digital SLR:

Much more detailed views have been obtained. There is a gorgeous mosaic with HST and WFPC2 showing what have been interpreted as protoplanetary disks around many forming stars. And peering through some of the dust cloud mostly lying behind the visible nebula, a new HST NICMOS near-infrared image shows a yet younger star cluster around the Becklin-Neugebauer object, still hidden from view in visible light.

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