glowing irregular cloud, shining by the gleaming light of the diamond-like
stars entangled in it, makes a marvelous spectacle which is unequalled
anywhere else in the sky.”
— Astronomer Robert Burnham, Jr.
(From Burnham’s Celestial Handbook Volume
In the midst of
the sword that branches off of Orion’s famous belt, a tumultuous saga of
star formation is unfolding.
Lit by the glow of the newborn stars nestled in its wispy embrace, the
Orion Nebula is a stunning stellar nursery that has been studied,
documented and revered for centuries.
Unlike the vast majority of deep sky objects, this brilliant celestial
beauty is both bright enough and close enough to be seen with the naked eye
— although it will only appear as a slightly foggy star. To truly explore
some of the more awe-inspiring features that have made it a legend, you
will need a telescope.
By offering 5 inches of unobstructed viewing, the Explore
Scientific ED APO 127mm Triplet can significantly close the more
than 1,300-light year gap between ourselves and this magnificent showpiece.
This scope’s rich, high contrast views of the Orion Nebula will show that
it is so much more than a foggy star. It is a glowing cocoon teeming with
billowing gas and dust where stars and even planetary systems are being
So, what can you discover about the Orion Nebula at the eyepiece of the
One of the first features to explore is the tightknit open star cluster
known as the Trapezium. Although it appears as one brilliant mass to the
unaided eye, this close community of stars has several distinguishable
members that pop to life in the ED127. At the core of the Trapezium lies a
quartet of star systems that form the cluster’s signature trapezoidal
asterism. The largest and most luminous of these is Theta-1 Orionis C. This
huge binary powerhouse shines as brightly as 210,000 Suns and is largely
responsible for the beautiful glow at the heart of Orion’s Nebula.
In addition to providing illumination, Theta-1 Orionis C and its close
companions are producing intense stellar winds that have a profound impact
on the nebula. These fast-moving streams of protons, electrons and other
particles pierce the surrounding veil of dust and gas and manipulate it
into flowing ridgelines and revealing voids. The ED127 will show a few of
the most prominent of these sculpted features, which hint at the nebula’s
The Orion Nebula is a truly spectacular celestial beauty filled with
inspiring sights. As you explore its curving lines, gossamer webs and
brilliant stellar inhabitants, you can envision the chaos of creation that
is happening within. This is where stars are blazing to life. This is where
the seeds of future solar systems are manifesting in protoplanetary disks.
This is where the action is happening, and the ED127 can put you right in
the midst of it.