M42 - The Great Orion Nebula
M42 Orion Nebula
The image is the Orion Nebula that forms the middle "star" in the sword of Orion, and is likely the most photographed deep sky object in the sky. The nebula is actually a collection of gases that have formed knots, or high concentration areas that are coalescing to form new stars. Thus, the Orion Nebula is essentially a star birthplace and nursery. In this image, normal colour filters images have been combined with narrow-band images that show specific wavelengths characteristic of specific gases. By doing this, the distribution and patterns of gases both within the nebula and around it can be seen. The nebula itself is 1350 light years away, and 24 light years across.