M43: Part of the Orion Nebula

Click on image for larger version.

M43 is part of the much larger Orion Nebula complex. This section features a an extremely bright OB star that is creating a matter bound Stromgren sphere. This means that the star is ionizing the gas that is near it- making a sphere of glowing (pink) hydrogen gas. The size of this sphere is determined by the density of gas/dust that surrounds the star. Another good example of this process can be found in IC 1274. M43 and the Orion Nebula are around 1,500 light years away. Many new stars will be formed from these clouds of gas.


20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.4
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = synthetic binned 1x1
Red = 20 minutes binned 1x1
Green = 20 minutes binned 1x1
Blue = 20 minutes binned 1x1

  • Two iterations of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp were applied to the luminance image.

  • Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the the very dim and very bright details of the image simultaneously.

  • Minimum credit line: Pat and Chris Lee/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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    Updated: 10/07/2004