STARS AND CON­STEL­LA­TIONS

Sky at Night Magazine - - DECEMBER -

The Orion Ne­bula (M42) ap­pears as a fuzzy star near the Hunter’s Belt. It’s 1,500 lightyears away and ap­pears to be 1° in di­am­e­ter, but ac­tu­ally spans 35 lightyears. In Do­rado there’s a sim­i­lar emis­sion ne­bula, the Taran­tula. Its an­gu­lar size is only half that of M42, but it’s larger at 1,800 lightyears across and far­ther away at 160,000 lightyears. If it was at M42’s dis­tance, the ne­bula would cover more than 50° of sky, three times the height of the con­stel­la­tion of Orion.

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