The Orion Nebula (also known as M42 or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula lying about 1350 light years away. It is a very active stellar nursery where new stars are being formed. Approximately 700 stars in varying stages of development have been noted within the nebula. Recent observations by the Hubble Space Telescope reveal the presence of more than 150 protoplanetary disks called proplyds within the nebula. These are thought to be very early solar systems. 

Also appeared on “Starship Asterisk,” the main discussion venue for the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)  January 15, 2015.
Also appeared at  December 19, 2016
Also appeared in Astronomy Magazine   February, 2017

Technical Information       
Date:                       December, 2014
Location:                 Green Valley, Arizona
Telescope:              Takahashi FSQ-106EDX
Camera:                  SBIG STT-8300M
Filters:                     Astrodon Gen 2
Mount:                     AstroPhysics 1200
Exposure:                HαLRGB = 9:3:3:3:3 hours, all unbinned
Software:                 Acquisition: Maxim DL 5, TheSkyX, Pinpoint, CCD Commander
                                Processing: CCDStack, PhotoShop CS6 with various plugins

Orion Nebula (M42)