(IAAC) Obj: M42-43 Great Nebula in Orion - Inst: 12.5" Binocular Telescope

Observer: Dan Duriscoe
Your skills: Advanced (many years)
Date/time of observation: Dec29,1999 2330 PST
Location of site: Pinehurst, CA, USA (Lat 37 n, Elev 4000')
Site classification: Rural
Sky darkness: 6.0 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 12.5" Binocular Telescope
Magnification: 73x
Filter(s): none
Object(s): M42-43  Great Nebula in Orion
Category: Emission nebula.
Constellation: Ori
Data: mag 4  size 45'
Position: RA :  DEC :
First good study with binocular telescope.  Bright central region blue-green,
outer areas hint of dull orangish brick-red (this color is very subtle)
especially SE of central area.  Incredible detail in center, at times like 
boiling vapors,at others like brushed cotton ball.  When steady air prevails, 
sharp deliniation is seen between light and dark areas, A,B,C,D,E,F in 
trapezium all revealed at 73x, G off and on.  Around trapezium are 5-7 tiny
faint stars "imbedded" in the swirling bright region of the nebula.  In binoc.
the effect is very 3D and quite humbling.  The enormity of this object begins
to reveal itself with such complexity in only the central region.  Outer "arms"
and wisps SSW traced in considerable detail--fills entire 45' FOV.  M43 is a
fine nebula with lots of character and variation in luminosity.  The
dark lane and "fish's mouth" between it and M42 gives the object enormous 
depth.  Thinner and less defined dark zones abound in this region.  While the
colors are subtle, they are definitely present--I believe the binocular aspect 
helps reveal them as this is my first observation of the red color--M43 has a 
tinge of red as well.  Stared for over an hour--a spiritual experience.
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