Between M42 and NGC 1973-75-77
AAO image reference UKS 25.    « Previous || Next »

Reflection nebula in Orion, NGC 1973-75-77
Top left is NE. Image width is about 27 arc min
Image and text © 1989-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory. Photograph from UK Schmidt plates by David Malin.

A little over a degree north of the Orion nebula is a loose grouping of bright stars NGC 1973-75-77, seen at the top of this picture. Light from these stars is scattered by the dust, producing a reflection nebula that should be bluish. However, the plates that were used to make this image picture have been photographically enhanced and the colour balance distorted so that they appear greenish. Nonetheless, this photograph is the first to show a new kind of nebula, whose light is not starlight reflected by dust, but the reflected glow of another nebula, seen as the yellowish fronds cross the centre of the image. They are the reflection of light from the Orion nebula itself, which is off the lower part of the picture. All these objects are about 1350 light years distant, in the distinctive constellation of Orion.

Related images
AAT 34.   Reflection nebula in Orion, NGC 1973-75-77
AAT 34a. Reflection nebula in Orion, NGC 1973-75-77, wide field
UKS 8.    The Great Nebula in Orion
UKS 23.   Faint nebulosity near Orion and Horsehead Nebulae
Constellation of Orion (external site)

For details of object position and photographic exposure, search technical table by UKS reference number.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, July 25