M 42 - The Orion Nebula (NGC 1976) - the middle 'star' in the sword of Orion the Hunter.
M 42 can be seen without optical aid as
a hazy star, but through even a small telescope it is a
M 42 is the brightest nebula visible from Earth and is thus the best studied. Its distance is 1600 ly - relatively close. Many new stars are forming in the interior of the cloud and several proto-solar systems have been discovered with infrared astrophotography. Six inch and larger telescopes reveal a cluster of four stars at the heart of the nebula called the Trapezium (the stars form the corners of a regular trapezoid). These stars are among the youngest yet discovered.
RA: 05 35.3 - DEC: -05 23
- MAG: 4
U2000: 225/226/270/271 - TIRION: 11 - SIZE: 66'X60'