The constellation Orion lies along the sky’s equator, meaning it’s a favorite among skywatchers in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. See Orion’s three Belt stars, in the upper left? They’re the most noticeable part of this constellation. The red loop around Orion’s Belt is called Barnard’s Loop. But there’s lots more to notice in this photo by our friend Yuri Beletsky, who lives and works in Chile and has taken many wonderful photos of Southern Hemisphere skies. Yuri wrote:
Orion and the Gum nebula: the jewels of the summer Southern sky. Here is a very wide field spanning from Orion down to Vela constellation. You can see many red emission nebulae along the Milky Way! In order to get such nice contrast, I used Optolong L-Pro filter on modified Canon 6D camera. It really helps not only in heavily light polluted sites, but it also does some magic under the dark sky.
I hope you’ll like the image!
It’s beautiful. Thank you, Yuri!
The Gum Nebula, by the way – seen at the bottom left of this photo – is a cloud of glowing hydrogen gas. It’s a very large and close nebula and sprawls across some 40° in the southern constellations Vela and Puppis. Its front edge is only about 450 light-years from Earth, and its back edge is about 1,500 light-years away. It’s thought thought to be a supernova remnant over a million years old.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.