Photo of the Week for March 30, 2018
One of the winter sky’s undisputed showpieces is the Orion Nebula, also known as M42. This magnificent object can be enjoyed even in early spring when weather conditions are usually more favourable. The Orion Nebula is among a handful of deep-sky wonders that look good in anything from basic binoculars to a monster Dobsonian telescope.
It also happens to be wonderfully photogenic, as this wide angle shot by Frédéric Caron of Sainte-Christine, Quebec, illustrates. In addition to M42, Frédéric’s beautifully detailed image captures the much smaller nebula M43 immediately north of M42, plus a complex of stars and nebulosity further north collectively catalogued as NGC1973-75-77 and, finally, the sparse open cluster NGC1981. Together with M42, these objects form the spectacular Sword of Orion.
For this four-degree-tall portrait of the region, Frédéric amassed a total of 4 hours exposure recorded at ISO 1600 over three nights with a Takahashi FSQ-106N apochromatic refractor telescope and Sony α7S mirrorless digital camera (modified for “full spectrum” response) equipped with an internal IDAS HEUIB-II filter.