Orion Star-birth Nebula
Few deep space objects are bright enough for human eyes to detect their true color even when using BIG telescopes. This leaves some neophytes to astronomy confused or even disappointed by the difference between what they see in pictures and what they see in our telescopes, which requires some explaining. Yet, the wispy-pale blue of the Orion Star-birth Nebula disappoints nobody, and it is almost self-explanatory. This immense space cloud, reminiscent of a pterodactyl, dragon, or some mythical flying creature, has a wingspan of 25 light years and soars through our galaxy some 1400 light years away. Here, newborn stars with their intense blue light are illuminating the cloud that gave them life, and also sculpting it with their stellar wind, powered by the fury of their nuclear fusion.
If the telescope is the second greatest tool of astronomy, math being the first, then astrophotography would be a close third. The Orion Nebula was a favorite subject of astronomy's first photographer, Andrew Ainslie Common. Using gelatin plate photography, he imaged the outer planets, their faint moons, and the Great Comet of 1881, but what won him the Royal Astronomical Society's gold medal in 1884 were his images of the Orion Nebula. Having perfected that early form of black and white photography, his BIG but nevertheless still backyard telescope, revealed more than any human eye had ever seen through Earth's largest research telescopes. Astrophotography has advanced the science of astronomy ever since.
Paradoxically, sometimes a human eye at an eyepiece can see more than astrophotography can reveal. Case in point is the Trapezium Star Cluster in the heart of the Orion Nebula. Almost every photograph taken shows an overexposed region without any detail where the flying creature's chest would be. The human eye is better at distinguishing a variety of different contrast ratios across the same view. When you get a perfect focus, you'll be able to see into that figurative chest cavity where sitting in a void of their own making, are 5 blazing bright newborn stars systems, all with companion stars and two being 5-star systems! That much energy not only overwhelms cameras, but their combined stellar wind will eventually clean out the entire nebula until only a star cluster remains. As a result of this stellar evolution, star-birth nebulae like the Orion nebula become star clusters like the Pleiades.
Until you attend the Dark Ranger Observatory in winter you won't get to see the original photons from Orion Nebula and its Trapezium Star Cluster, but you could own your own copy of this Dark Ranger Telescope Astro Art in the meantime.