Artist notes:

When someone points their telescope and camera at the night sky for the first time this is the most likely target. This slice of the night sky is inspiring with the interplay of cold dust and super-heated gas. Young stars announce their interstellar debut by brightly illuminating the gas around them. One of my favorite portions of this scene is the draperies of faintly glowing dust in the space between the expansive Orion and the more subdued running man nebulae.

Technical details:

Photons captured in Simpson, North Carolina, in November 2014.

The image is 2 stitched panels collected over a total of 8.4 hours exposure time

This two panel mosaic spans the Orion and Running man nebulae found in the sword of Orion. These are among the brightest nebulae in the sky. This is one of our nearest star forming regions at a distance of 1400 light years away. The red colors are from the emissions of excited hydrogen atoms and the blue is the reflected light of super-hot stars.      

Orion & Running Man Nebulae