Oakland Astronomy Club Image
M-42, The Great Nebula in Orion
M-42 is one of the most photogenic, and therefore most photographed deep sky objects. It is a star-forming region of gas and dust some 1,500 years away in the constellation Orion. You can see it with your naked eyes as the middle "star" in Orion's sword. This object can be difficult to image since there is such a great dynamic range from the interior to the exterior. The image above is slightly underexposed, trading off the wispy details on the outside of the nebula for detail in the middle, which is burned-out white on many photographs.
Color CCD image, 4 minute composite exposure taken by Dave O'Toole on 3/7/2000 from Lake Orion, Michigan. The telescope used was a Celestron 8" SCT operating at f/3.3; the CCD camera used was an SBIG ST-237. Post processing was done with Adobe Photoshop
Image © 2000 David J. O'Toole, used with permission.