Object Data: NGC 1977 (including 1973, 1975) is located in Orion approximately half a degree to the north of M42, the Great Orion Nebula. Note the huge dust lanes around the base of NGC 1977 which appear brownish owing to the reflected light from M42. Without M42 in close proximity this dust would appear black, just as the Horsehead nebula appears black. NGC 1977, with its mix of emission and reflection nebulae, is perhaps one of the most beautiful and intriguing objects in the entire night sky. The huge area of blue reflection nebulosity is inlaid with lanes of red glowing ionized gas in a way that resembles the figure of a ghost or 'spook', with its mysterious 'spirit-like' figure floating through the clouds, hence the name Ghost Nebula as I prefer to call it. It is also known as the 'Running Man' nebula but I am unclear as to how such a mundane and unimaginative name came to be given to such a glorious, intriguing, and mystical object. Perhaps you will join with me in helping to rename this most wonderful of celestial objects!
Location: Southern France
Conditions: Calm, moderate dew, transparency=8, seeing=7
Optics: Astro-Physics 155 EDF f/7 with 4" focuser and integral field flattener working at f/7
Mount: AP 900 GTO on Portable Pier
Camera: SBIG ST-11K, SBIG LRGBC filter set, -30°C
Guiding: Integral ST-11K autoguider
Exposure: Normal LRGB Seq: 24x 10 minutes; 6x 10 : 6.5 : 10 minutes (binned 2x2). Short LRGB Seq: 11x 1 minute; 10x 1 : .65 : 1 minutes (binned 2x2).
Processing: Image acquisition and initial processing using Maxim DL, subsequent processing in RegiStar and Photoshop.
Notes: This image is a crop from the Orion Nebula image with some additional processing.