Nebulae - Glittering Lights - Marco Lorenzi
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Alnilam and Mintaka

Alnilam and Mintaka

Alnilam and Mintaka are the two bright bluish stars from east to west (left to right) in this cosmic vista. Otherwise known as the Belt of Orion (together with Alnitak), these blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun. They lie about 1,500 light-years away, born of Orion's well-studied interstellar clouds. In fact, clouds of gas and dust adrift in this region have intriguing and some surprisingly familiar shapes, including the dark Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula near Alnitak. The famous Orion Nebula itself lies off the bottom of this star field that covers about 2x2 degrees on the sky (text adapted from APOD).

Apo TEC140 (140/f7.2) - FLI Proline 16803 - Ha (360m) L (230m) R (150m) G (130m) B (120m) - Warrumbungle Observatory, Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia

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