Image Credit: NASA

This is a deep field survey of the asterism known as the Orion’s Sword. The sword is located under Orion’s Belt (which is another more well known asterism located in the Constellation Orion), and seemingly hangs from the hunters belt.

To see the sword, you are going to have to work with me and look past the nebula itself. At the top center of this image, you’ll see about 6 stars within a nebulous portion, that region makes up the hilt and handle of the sword (this region is known as NGC 1977).

If you look towards the center of the image, you’ll see a very bright portion of Orion’s nebula, here is a portion of the blade (this region is also known as the Trapezium Cluster).

Finally, near the bottom of frame center you’ll see a group of stars making up the tip of the sword (this area is known as NGC 1980).

Altogether, the objects making up Orion’s Sword come together to make one of the most beautiful and famous cosmic portraits in the night sky. This region is easily visible to armature astronomers making a frequently visted area of space by astronomers of all skill sets. It is also visible to the naked eye, even in areas with heavier light pollution (though, you have to know exactly where to look if you live in a large city).

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