By Adam England
One of the most widely recognized constellations in the world is Orion. Ancient cultures from around the world identified this grouping of stars as a giant, shepherd, archer, reaper, and even a deer, pronghorn, or buffalo. Nowadays, it’s most commonly known as “The Hunter,” and is identifiable by some of the brightest stars in the night sky making up his right shoulder (Betelgeuse), left foot (Rigel), and northern end of his thee star belt (Bellatrix). Just below his belt is a tight cluster of stars known as the Trapezium, first observed by Galileo Galilei on Feb. 4, 1617. When the Trapezium is viewed through even the smallest telescopes or binoculars, one can see what is probably the most photographed and studied object in the night sky, the Orion Nebula.
M42: The Orion Nebula
Right Ascension: 5 hr 35 min
Declination: -05 Deg., 23’
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Adam England is the director-at large and in charge of public relations for the Prescott Astronomy Club.