'Central Part of the Nebula of Orion', 1875.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Copy of an earlier black and white photograph showing a pastel drawing of the Orion Nebula. Etienne Leopold Trouvelot (1827-1895), a French artist produced this sketch with the astronomer, Prof E S Holden (1846-1914) in 1875. It is based on observations made at the United States Observatory at Foggy Bottom in Washington using the 26-inch Clarke refracting telescope. 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.