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M42 is probably the best known example of an emmission nebula in the northern sky. It is visible to the unaided eye from any reasonably dark site in the constellation of Orion, and looks like a fuzzy star. A pair of binoculars will reveal its distinctive shape. It lies within our own galaxy, about 1300 light years from us. The photograph actually shows two Messier objects. The large part of the nebula is M42. The smaller detached part is M43. The bright, white part of M42 is an area of star formation. Four stars within this area are known as the Trapezium, but because our eyes work differently to film, and our brain interprets what our eyes see, they are actually easier to see visually than on a photograph. They are part of the multiple star system Theta Orionis. The photograph shown here very nearly never saw the light of day. Taken on 1600ASA print film, it was a very thin negative, perhaps taken when Orion was low in the sky and in some skyglow. The print from it was consigned to the bin, and when I tried scanning it the colour balance was....a little strange! But I saw potential there and several hours of work produced the result seen here. Perhaps because it suffered some lack of contrast it does show both the faint detail and the Trapezium fairly well, something usually almost impossible to achieve.