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The Sword of Orion: M42, M43 + NGC 1977

The Sword of Orion is home to emission nebulae M42 and M43 (pink) and reflection nebula NGC 1977 (blue), star nurseries containing (relatively) newly formed stars. The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged proto-planetary discs forming around many of the young stars. M42 is about 1,344 light-years from Earth.

L component: 68 minutes (with exposures ranging from 8 minutes to 10 seconds) on 2013-02-06 using a QSI 583 from northern New Jersey through an Astro-Physics 105mm (4.1 inch) refractor at f6.2. Color: Three stacked 14 minute exposures taken in 1998 on gas-hypersensitized Kodak Pro 400 PPF color negative film from near Vicuña, Chile through an Astro-Physics 105mm (4.1 inch) refractor at f4.5. North is up. ©2013.

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