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THE HoRsEHEAD NEBuLA

The nebula's silhouette appears like the knight of a chess set against a strip of bright nebulosity, IC 434. Photographs show it well, but to see it visually requires a large telescope and a dark site.

THE HoRsEHEAD NEBuLA

The nebula's silhouette appears like the knight of a chess set against a strip of bright nebulosity, IC 434. Photographs show it well, but to see it visually requires a large telescope and a dark site.

features of interest alpha (a) oRioNis (BETELGEUsE) 2 A red supergiant hundreds of times larger than the Sun. It varies irregularly in brightness between magnitudes 0 and 1.3, with an average value around magnitude 0.5. Betelgeuse is about 430 light-years away, closer to us than the other bright stars in Orion.

Beta (P) oRioNis (RiGEL) 2 5 A luminous blue supergiant of magnitude 0.2. Apart from the rare times when Betelgeuse is at its maximum, Rigel is the brightest star in the constellation. Small telescopes will just pick out a 7th-magnitude companion star from Rigel's surrounding glare.

Delta (8) oRioNis (MINTAKA) k 5 The star at the northern end of the belt. It has a 7th-magnitude companion that is visible in small telescopes or even binoculars.

ZETA (Z) oRioNis (ALNITAK) 5 The southernmost belt star. Telescopes of at least 3 in (75 mm) aperture will reveal its close 4th-magnitude companion.

THETA-1 (01) oRioNis (THE TRApEZIUM) 5 A multiple star at the center of the Orion Nebula. Through small telescopes, it appears as a group of four stars of 5th to 8th magnitudes. To one side of the nebula lies Theta-2 (02) Orionis, a binocular double with components of 5th and 6th magnitudes.

ioTA (1) oRioNis 5 A double, with stars of 3rd and 7th magnitudes, at the tip of Orion's sword, divisible with small telescopes. A wider double nearby, of 5th and 6th magnitudes, is called Struve 747.

siGMA (a) oRioNis 5 An impressive multiple star. A small telescope shows that the main 4th-magnitude star has two 7th-magnitude companions on one side and a closer 9th-magnitude companion on the other. A fainter triple star, Struve 761, is also visible in the same telescopic field of view.

M42 (THE oRioN nebula) 2 K 5 S An enormous star-forming cloud of gas 1,500 light-years away and covering over two Moon diameters of sky. A northern extension of it bears a separate number, M43, but both are part of the same cloud.

NGC 1977 K An elongated patch of nebulosity surrounding the stars 42 and 45 Orionis.

NGC 1981 K A large, scattered cluster of stars south of Orion's belt. Its brightest members are of 6th magnitude.

THE HorsEHEAD NEBULA S 3 Probably the best-known dark nebula in the sky. It appears silhouetted against IC 434, an area of brighter nebulosity that extends southward from Zeta (Z) Orionis.

Canis Major Canis Majoris (CMa)

WIDTH l DEPTH SIZE RANKING 43 rd fULLY VISIBLE 56°n-90°s

This prominent constellation contains the brightest star in the entire sky, Sirius, which forms a sparkling triangle with two other first-magnitude stars, Procyon (in Canis Minor) and Betelgeuse (in Orion). Canis Major was known to the ancient Greeks as one of the two dogs following Orion, the hunter

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Digital Camera and Digital Photography

Digital Camera and Digital Photography

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