© Digitised Sky Survey (DSS); Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS-II)

The Orion Nebula is well placed

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Deep Sky feed

Objects: M42
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The Orion Nebula (M42; mag 4.0) will be well placed in the evening sky in coming weeks. On 15 December it will reach its highest point in the sky at around midnight local time, and on subsequent evenings it will culminate four minutes earlier each day.

From San Diego , it is visible between 19:23 and 04:00. It will become accessible at around 19:23, when it rises to an altitude of 17° above your eastern horizon. It will reach its highest point in the sky at 23:42, 51° above your southern horizon. It will become inaccessible at around 04:00 when it sinks below 17° above your western horizon.

At a declination of 5°23'S, it is visible across much of the world; it can be seen at latitudes between 64°N and 75°S.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

At magnitude 4.0, M42 is tricky to make out with the naked eye except from a dark site, but is visible through a pair of binoculars or small telescope.

The position of M42 is as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
M42 05h35m10s 5°23'S Orion 4.0 0'00"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 15 Dec 2020

The sky on 15 December 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

1-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


1 day old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:36 11:32 16:27
Venus 04:49 10:01 15:13
Moon 07:49 12:52 17:56
Mars 12:58 19:23 01:48
Jupiter 09:06 14:13 19:19
Saturn 09:08 14:15 19:22
All times shown in PST.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Image credit

© Digitised Sky Survey (DSS); Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS-II)


San Diego



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