M42 The Orion Nebula and Running Man Nebula

The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion’s Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 ± 20 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. It has a mass of about 2000 times the mass of the Sun.

Orion Nebula in HaRGB M42 The Orion Nebula in Ha


M42 The Orion Nebula and Running Man Nebula


November 9 (RGB) and 12 (Ha) 2013


Telescope: Takahashi Sky 90II with F/4.5 reducer/flattener

Camera: SBIG ST-10XME w/ CFW10 (Astrodon Gen 2 RGB and 3nm Ha Filters)

Autoguider: Orion Starshoot

Guidescope: Orion 50mm

Mount: Celestron CG-5 Mount

Exposure Info: RGB10 Second Subs (to resolve the Trapezium area)

  • R: 16 x 10 secs
  • G: 19 x 10 secs
  • B: 16 x 10 secs

60 Second Subs (to resolve the Running Man)

  • R: 15 x 60 secs
  • G: 15 x 60 secs
  • B: 15 x 60 secs

3 Minute Subs (to get the detail in the outer area of M42)

  • R: 2 x 3 mins
  • G: 2 x 3 mins
  • B: 2 x 3 mins


  • 16 x 5 min
  • 17 x 1 min
  • 24 x 15 sec
  • 24 x 5 secs

Total Exposure Time: 3 Hours 5 mins


Maxim DL 5.23, Photoshop CS6, CCDSharp


There is so much detail in the M42 that gets obscured by longer exposures and details that get underexposed with shorter exposures.  This object requires layering techniques in photoshop to combine areas of the short exposures to the areas with longer exposures so you can get all of the detail to come out.

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