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or..... Orion The Car


Constapation Index


Orions are probably the most recognisable heaps on the road. It lies partly obver the Milky Way and also over a section of sky experiencing many new star births, which is situatued just below Orions belt.


There are many objects of interest to all astronomers, professional and amateur alike. The most striking item is the Orion Nebula M 42. Just visible to the naked eye. The larger the aperture of the instrument used to view this nebula the better. Only with the large scopes can you hope to see the splendour of it. Or take a long exposure photograph. The Nebula lies about 1400 light years away and is lit up by the stellar nursary in the heart of it. The 4 stars in the middle are known as the trapezium, and require a large telescope to split them.


Just above the Orion Nebula is M43. This nebula is actually part of the same gas cloud as M42. The reason you can see it is because it is lit by a 7th magnitude star.


To the left of Orion's waist is a large area of gas and dust called Barnard's loop next to M78 and above some other gas and dust clouds. This is in fact the same nebula as M42, which actually covers most of Orion. Unfortunately only the parts of the cloud with stars behind or in can be seen.


Around the left most star on Orion's belt you can find other lit regions of the nebula, one of these regions is called the Horse Head Nebula. With an 8 inch telescope or bigger you should almost be able to make out the shape of the head.


The brightest star in Orion is Rigel, it lies 1400 light years away and is the 7th brightest star in the sky at 0.12 magnitude. The second brightest star is the red star Betelgeuse, the 11th brightest star at about 0.7 magnitude. There is also Bellatrix the 25th brightest star at 1.64 magnitude.


At Orion's club, in the Milky Way you can find two open clusters, NGC 2169 and NGC 2175, which are probably best viewed with binoculars.

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