This 84 minute exposure of M42 is effectively the middle star of Orion's belt. One of the most photographed (and least difficult) nebulae to capture, this is a well-known structure in the night sky that's visible without the need for binoculars or telescopes.

Oddly, it wasn't well known until around 1610, thousands of years after some of the most complete sky surveys ever made by humans without computers. It seems that before the time of Galileo, et al, the Orion nebula lay dark(er) and (more) dormant. The beginning of the 17th century must have seen either the ignition of the huge stars in the nebula's center, or the blowing away of the dust that hid them.

In the upper left, the "fish's mouth" opens toward the umbrella-shaped structure that is lit on the inside by O-class stars (as Annie Jump Cannon taught us by asking our ladies to kiss us); young, huge, and very hot.

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