Reflection nebula in Orion, NGC 1973-75-77 (wide field)
AAO image reference AAT 34a.    « Previous || Next »

Reflection nebula in Orion, NGC 1973-75-77, ngc 1977.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 48 arc min
Image and text © 1999-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.

This group of nebulous stars is just half a degree north of the much brighter Orion Nebula and has largely been ignored because of it. The group of stars here appear as a single star to the unaided eye, the northernmost 'star' in the sword of Orion. Most of the blue nebulosity is starlight scattered by dust, while some of the stars are sufficiently hot to excite the wisps of hydrogen that linger here and create a distinctive red glow. To the south of the nebula (at the bottom of the picture) faint traces of the yellow reflected light of the Orion nebula can just be detected. This is better seen on the deep image made from UK Schmidt plates. Together, the stars and nebula seen here create an impression of quiet beauty quite unlike the maelstrom of the adjacent Orion Nebula. All these objects are about 1350 light years distant.

Related Images
AAT 34.   Reflection nebula in Orion, NGC 1973-75-77
UKS 8.    The Great Nebula in Orion
UKS 23.  Faint nebulosity near Orion and Horsehead Nebulae
UKS 25.  A reflection of the Orion nebula
Constellation of Orion (external site)

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1