NGC 1973 / NGC 1975 / NGC 1977** (Sh2-279, Lund 1159**) Bright Nebulae / Open Cluster** in Orion

Located at: RA 05 hours 35 minutes 18 seconds, Dec -04 degrees 49 minutes 00 seconds

Size: 20' / 40' x 25' Magnitude: -- / -- Class: -- / Emission (Sharpless) 3 2 3

North is up

West to the right

Telescope:

 8" f5 Newtonian reflector

Camera:

 ST-8XME, self-guided, binned 1x1, temp -20c, camera control MaxIm DL 4.56

Image:

Lumicon Deep Sky filter, 330 minutes (33 x 10 minute subs), 02/28 & 03/2/2008; seeing 2.8-4.6 FWHM per CCDStack

Processing:

CCDStack 1.3.2, Photoshop 7.0

Location:

 Rolling Roof Observatory, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 (+34d 13m 29s -118h 52m 20s)

Notes:

This complex area in Orion is just above the M 42 / M 43 'Great Nebula in Orion' area.

The CDS lists NGC 1973, NGC 1975 and NGC 1977 as Bright Nebulae ... My charting software lists NGC 1977 as an Open Cluster, and NGC 1973 and NGC 1975 as Bright Nebulae...

From the NGC / IC Project:

Contemporary Visual Observation(s) ...

NGC 1973 = Ced 55b = Sh 2-279
05 35 04.8 -04 43 55
Size 5x5

13.1": extensive bright nebulosity including N1975 and N1977, very large, 
elongated ~E-W.  Involves several bright stars including 42 (V = 4.7) and 45 
Orionis (V = 5.3).  Irregular and detailed nebula with detached segments.  
Extends N-S beyond 42 Orionis.  Located N of M42 and S of the bright cluster 
N1981.

- by Steve Gottlieb
NGC 1975 = Ced 55c = Sh 2-279
05 35 18 -04 41.1
Size 10x5

13.1": see description for N1973.  This is the faintest portion and appears 
large and elongated, including a mag 12/12 double star.

- by Steve Gottlieb
NGC 1977 = Ced 55e = Lund 1159
05 35 15.8 -04 50 40
Size 20x10

13.1": see description for N1973.  This is the portion involving 42 Orionis.  
Several stars are involved.  Bright, very large, elongated.  N1973 and N1975 are 
close W.

- by Steve Gottlieb
**However ...
According to "Star Clusters", by Brent Archinal and Steven Hynes, under Comments and Aliases for NGC 1977; "Skiff: OK. Archinal: Stars overwhelmed by nebulosity on DSS image. 
Aliases: Lund 1159, OCL 525.1; C0532-048."