APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

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APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:07 am

Image The Great Orion Nebula M42

Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion, also known as M42, is one of the most famous nebulas in the sky. The star forming region's glowing gas clouds and hot young stars are on the right in this sharp and colorful image that includes the bluish reflection nebulae NGC 1977 and friends on the left. Located at the edge of an otherwise invisible giant molecular cloud complex, these eye-catching nebulas represent only a small fraction of this galactic neighborhood's wealth of interstellar material. Within the well-studied stellar nursery, astronomers have also identified what appear to be numerous infant planetary systems. The gorgeous skyscape spans nearly two degrees or about 45 light-years at the Orion Nebula's estimated distance of 1,500 light-years.

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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by Ann » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:16 am

It's great to see a stunning portrait of a rarely-photographed deep-sky gem... sorry, I couldn't help being just a little ironic. But the picture itself is no laughing matter. It is truly gorgeous. I love the colors, the structure, the range of brightness in this beloved region of star formation. A picture such as this one reminds at least me that while it is indeed possible to get too many M42 images, this one is not one I would want to miss.

But perhaps the caption of today's APOD ought to change a little.
APOD Robot wrote:
The Great Nebula in Orion, also known as M42, is one of the most famous nebulas in the sky.
What other nebula in the sky could be as famous as the Orion Nebula?

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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:53 am

Ann wrote:What other nebula in the sky could be as famous as the Orion Nebula?
I'd say that both the Horsehead and the Trifid are more well known, and show up in more places outside astronomy circles. Probably because they are more interesting in appearance. I've found that most people at star parties (non astronomers) have never heard of the Orion Nebula. Of course, the situation among astronomers (amateur and otherwise) is quite different.
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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:44 am

The Eagle is extraordinarily famous and was made so by HST. You can see it in the background in old Star Trek: TNG episodes and in other popular media. I would guess that it along with the Horsehead would be two of the most memorable nebulas for the general population. Orion is popular in astronomy circles but for whatever reason it makes less of an impact elsewhere. It's probably got to do with its amorphous shape. When people can see animals and other things in nebulas then it makes them much more memorable.
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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by Ann » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:53 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Ann wrote:What other nebula in the sky could be as famous as the Orion Nebula?
I'd say that both the Horsehead and the Trifid are more well known, and show up in more places outside astronomy circles. Probably because they are more interesting in appearance. I've found that most people at star parties (non astronomers) have never heard of the Orion Nebula. Of course, the situation among astronomers (amateur and otherwise) is quite different.
Interesting, Chris. You may well be right. But I googled "Orion Nebula" and got 1 310 000 hits. For the Horsehead Nebula, I got 390 000 hits. The Trifid Nebula yielded 177 000 hits. The Pleiades, which is a cluster more than a nebula, got 1 390 000 hits.

But the winner is the Pole star, although it is not a nebula at all. It garnered 39 700 000 hits. Talk about enjoying cosmic, although Earthly, fame.

Ann

Edit: The Eagle Nebula got 672 000 hits.
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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by heehaw » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:41 am

Hey, we need a google planet derby, too!

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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:26 pm

geckzilla wrote:The Eagle is extraordinarily famous and was made so by HST. You can see it in the background in old Star Trek: TNG episodes and in other popular media. I would guess that it along with the Horsehead would be two of the most memorable nebulas for the general population. Orion is popular in astronomy circles but for whatever reason it makes less of an impact elsewhere. It's probably got to do with its amorphous shape. When people can see animals and other things in nebulas then it makes them much more memorable.
Yes, the Eagle, too. The Trifid showed up in Star Trek, and in about a thousand bad science fiction movies from the 1950s and after.
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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by neufer » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:27 pm

geckzilla wrote:
The Eagle is extraordinarily famous and was made so by HST. You can see it in the background in old Star Trek: TNG episodes and in other popular media. I would guess that it along with the Horsehead would be two of the most memorable nebulas for the general population. Orion is popular in astronomy circles but for whatever reason it makes less of an impact elsewhere. It's probably got to do with its amorphous shape. When people can see animals and other things in nebulas then it makes them much more memorable.
Like the popular "Crab Nebula" for instance.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_Nebula#First_identification wrote:
<<The 3rd Earl of Rosse observed the nebula at Birr Castle in 1844 using a 36-inch telescope, and referred to the object as the "Crab Nebula" because a drawing he made of it looked like a crab. :arrow:

He observed it again later, in 1848, using a 72-inch telescope and could not confirm the supposed resemblance, but the name stuck nevertheless.>>
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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by henrystar » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:00 pm

heehaw wrote:Hey, we need a google planet derby, too!
OK, they are off .... we have a winnah! Earth! There's no place like home!
#1 Earth 92,000,000
#2 Mars 35,700,000
#3 Mercury 28,900,000
#4 Jupiter 23.400,000
#5 Saturn 15,700,000 ~ a tie
#5 Venus 15,300,000 ~ a tie
#6 Neptune 14,500,000
#7 Pluto 13,100,000
#8 Uranus 9,500,000

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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by Ann » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:29 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
geckzilla wrote:The Eagle is extraordinarily famous and was made so by HST. You can see it in the background in old Star Trek: TNG episodes and in other popular media. I would guess that it along with the Horsehead would be two of the most memorable nebulas for the general population. Orion is popular in astronomy circles but for whatever reason it makes less of an impact elsewhere. It's probably got to do with its amorphous shape. When people can see animals and other things in nebulas then it makes them much more memorable.
Yes, the Eagle, too. The Trifid showed up in Star Trek, and in about a thousand bad science fiction movies from the 1950s and after.
This is what them angels look like when they talk to each other!
Source: http://fogsmoviereviews.com/2012/12/24/ ... rful-life/
I know what I have seen in bad reproductions in all sorts of weird "cosmic" or even "spiritual" situations - Stephan's Quintet! They even show up as angels in Frank Capra's 1946 movie, It's a Wonderful Life! Image

I tried to find a short video showing the Wonderful Life's angels' conversations (and their pulsations, too), but this movie still is the best I can do.

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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by starsurfer » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:08 pm

I would also add the Cat's Eye Nebula and the Helix Nebula to the list of famous nebulae.

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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:54 pm

The Etched Hourglass / MyCn18 is pretty famous too. A lot of people who recognize it will say Pearl Jam, though. Apparently the Helix and Eagle are inside the case, too.
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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by saturno2 » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:36 pm

Ann
Very interesting your note of Google and Nebulas.

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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by Tekija » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:04 pm

henrystar wrote:
heehaw wrote:Hey, we need a google planet derby, too!
OK, they are off .... we have a winnah! Earth! There's no place like home!
#1 Earth 92,000,000
#2 Mars 35,700,000
#3 Mercury 28,900,000
#4 Jupiter 23.400,000
#5 Saturn 15,700,000 ~ a tie
#5 Venus 15,300,000 ~ a tie
#6 Neptune 14,500,000
#7 Pluto 13,100,000
#8 Uranus 9,500,000
My results differ, based on Google search of each name combined with mention of a planet (rather than soil, quicksilver, Mickey Mouse, choclate bars, sea gods, naked women etc.):

Earth 240,000,000
Mars 80,300,000
Jupiter 24,400,000
Mercury 22,000,000
Venus 19,800,000
Saturn 16,400,000
Pluto 15,900,000
Neptune 3,010,000
Uranus 1,320,000

Moon combined with satellite gets 58,100,000

Sun combined with star is 290,000,000

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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:27 pm

saturno2 wrote:Ann
Very interesting your note of Google and Nebulas.
It should be noted that enclosing the search terms with quotation marks resulting in the much more specific string "orion nebula" returns a count of about 501,000. That puts it much closer to the specific "eagle nebula" and "pillars of creation" which both have 380k results. The Eagle nebula having several popular names splits its results up... I also do not know if Google's algorithm is lumping together synonymous names. It is not as simple as Ann's initial search test to determine the relative popularity of each nebula.

Here was a voting contest in which the general public was asked to vote for their favorite pictures alongside one another resulted in the Eagle Nebula winning. It went up against some other very popular objects including Orion, other nebulas, galaxies, and star clusters and managed to come out on top.
http://hubble25th.org/education/23

The Pillars won't give up their popularity so easily!
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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by Alohascope » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:25 pm

In a heartbeat.

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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:49 pm

There is perhaps a difference between "most famous nebula" and "most photographed nebula", but here is what my Google image search said on the former:
most_famous_nebula.JPG
The APOD is one of the better M42 renditions I've seen. The Trapezium is very nicely presented, too, which is something I always look for, without really knowing why.
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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by neufer » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:16 am

Nitpicker wrote:
The Trapezium is very nicely presented, too, which is something I always look for, without really knowing why.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_Nebula#History wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
<<The Orion Nebula (also known as M42, or NGC 1976) is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky.

Neither Ptolemy's Almagest nor Al Sufi's Book of Fixed Stars noted this nebula, even though they both listed patches of nebulosity elsewhere in the night sky; nor did Galileo mention it, even though he also made telescopic observations surrounding it in 1610 and 1617.

The first published observation of the nebula was by the Jesuit mathematician and astronomer Johann Baptist Cysat of Lucerne in his 1619 monograph on the comets (describing observations of the nebula that may date back to 1611). He made comparisons between it and a bright comet seen in 1618 and described how the nebula appeared through his telescope as: "one sees how in like manner some stars are compressed into a very narrow space and how round about and between the stars a white light like that of a white cloud is poured out"

His description of the center stars as different from a comet's head in that they were a "rectangle" may have been an early description of the Trapezium Cluster[ (The first detection of three of the four stars of this cluster is credited to Galileo Galilei in a February 4, 1617 although he did not notice the surrounding nebula — possibly due to the narrow field of vision of his early telescope.)>>
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Re: APOD: The Great Orion Nebula M42 (2015 Nov 04)

Post by starsurfer » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:13 pm

geckzilla wrote:The Etched Hourglass / MyCn18 is pretty famous too. A lot of people who recognize it will say Pearl Jam, though. Apparently the Helix and Eagle are inside the case, too.
I always found the image of this nebula to be really mysterious as a kid back when it was first released. I think it has appeared on quite a few book covers.