One of eleven photographs, taken by Andrew Ainslie Common of the Orion Nebula (M42) using a 36-inch reflecting telescope with a silver-on-glass mirror in the garden at his home in Ealing, London. Taken with an exposure of 60 minutes on February 26th 1883.
Photograph of the Great Nebula in Orion, taken 26th February 1883 by Andrew Ainsle Common (1841-1903), an acclaimed early pioneer of astrophotography. A successful heating engineer and amateur astronomer, this image was made using Common's 36-inch reflecting telescope at his home in Ealing, West London in England. This is one of the first high-resolution photographs of the nebula and clearly shows details invisible to observers using the naked eye alone. The Orion nebula, visible to the naked eye as a hazy patch, was first recorded being observed with a telescope in 1610 by Frenchman, Nicolas Claude Fabri de Peiresc. A large glowing cloud of hydrogen gas where new stars form, the nebula lies at a distance of some 1500 light-years.