December is a hard Observing Time for most of us due to the weather and cold temps. However M42 and the related Nebula Emissions in the M42 Area are the winter-time Jewels in the Sky. M42, M43 and the Running Man Nebula (NGC1973/74/75), the Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) and the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) are the most common images we see. Several smaller Emission Nebulas are in the M42 area but seldom imaged due to their low brightness.
So the Challenge is to try to image the hard ones and give us a look at your Best M42 this December.
Most Descriptions from WIKI or SS5....Have FUN...
p.s. Added Comet C46P/Wirtanen as a Bonus Find as it will be closest to Earth on December 16, 2018...Pat Utah
M42...The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976 is a diffuse nebula situated in the Milky Way, being south of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 ± 20 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. It has a mass of about 2,000 times that of the Sun. Older texts frequently refer to the Orion Nebula as the Great Nebula in Orion or the Great Orion Nebula.
M43... Also known as De Mairan's Nebula and NGC 1982, is a star-forming nebula with a prominent H II region in the equatorial constellation of Orion. The De Mairan's Nebula is part of the Orion Nebula (Messier 42), being separated from the main nebula by a dense lane of dust known as the northeast dark lane. It is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. M 43 contains its own, separate small cluster of stars which have formed in this part of the Orion Nebula, and lies at a distance of about 1400 light years.
NGC 1973/74/75... The Running Man Nebula is found along Orion's sword of just north of M 42, these nebulae are between M 42 on the south and open cluster NGC 1981 to the north. Like M 42, NGC 1973-75-77 are also associated with Orion's giant molecular cloud, which lies about 1,500 light-years away. But these objects are dominated by the characteristic blue color of interstellar dust reflecting light from hot young stars.
NGC 1999... A 10th Magnitude dust-filled bright nebula with a vast hole of empty space represented by a black patch of sky, as can be seen in its images. It is a reflection nebula, and shines from the light of the variable star V380 Orionis. NGC 1999 appears roughly 16.0 x 12.0 arcminutes in size.
IC 430... Another 10th magnitude Bright Nebula appearing in the constellation Orion. It is 154 light years from our solar system. IC 430 appears roughly 11.0 x 11.0 arcminutes in size, corresponding to a physical diameter of 0.5 light years.
NGC 1990... A 10th magnitude Bright Nebula appearing in the constellation Orion. It is 1337 light years from our solar system. NGC 1990 appears roughly 50.0 x 50.0 arcminutes in size, corresponding to a physical diameter of 19 light years.
IC 434...The Horsehead Nebula, also known as Barnard 33, is a small dark nebula silhouetted against the glow of the emission nebula IC 434. Only by chance does the dark nebula resemble the head of a horse - but its coincidental appearance has led to its becoming one of the most photographed objects in the sky.
NGC 2023... Another 10th magnitude Bright Nebula appearing in the constellation Orion. It is 1533 light years from our solar system. NGC 2023 appears roughly 10.0 x 10.0 arcminutes in size, corresponding to a physical diameter of 4 light years.
NGC 2024... The Flame Nebula is a beautiful emission nebula that covers a 30 arcminute area with patches of nebulosity cut by subtle dark bands and threads. A broad dust lane nearly bisects the nebula. A secondary dark lane runs from near the south end of the main rift into the eastern wing of the nebula. At least a dozen stars of magnitude 10 to 12 are embedded in the nebula.
IC 431/432... These two nebulae are faint bluish glows around bright stars. IC 431 consists of two areas surrounding 8th and 9th magnitude stars. IC 432 is the brighter and larger of the two nebulae with a 7th magnitude illuminating star.
Comet 46P/Wirtanen... Comet 46P/Wirtanen was discovered photographically on January 17, 1948, by the American astronomer Carl A. Wirtanen. The plate was exposed on January 15 during a stellar proper motion survey for the Lick Observatory. Due to a limited number of initial observations, it took more than a year to recognize this object as a short-period comet.
Edited by Alien Observatory, 04 December 2018 - 10:08 PM.