Messier Monday: Orion’s Second Nebula, M43 (Synopsis)

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” –William Shakespeare

But in the case of Orion, it’s great because of not only how it was born, but where and when: recently, and so close to us! And that makes our views of not only the main nebula fantastic, but also of its smaller companion.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user RawAstroData, via http://www.rawastrodata.com/dso.php?type=nebulae&id=m42.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user RawAstroData, via http://www.rawastrodata.com/dso.php?type=nebulae&id=m42.

It’s all part of the great Orion molecular cloud complex, but somehow the smaller region illuminated by a single bright, young giant star has — in many ways — even more to offer than the larger, grander nebula we’re most familiar with.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto ( Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team; full image available at http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0601a/.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto ( Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team; full image available at http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0601a/.

Come see the second great nebula in Orion, as we complete the last of our 110 objects for Messier Monday!