NEBULA NIGHT is upon us! The 400th anniversary of Peiresc's sighting of the nebula in Orion is here!
On Friday night November 26, 1610, looking out from his home at Aix into the night sky at the very beginning of what would be a nearly two-year observational campaign designed to replicate and improve upon Galileo's observations of the moons of Jupiter, Peiresc trained his telescope on the most obvious constellation of the winter night sky, Orion.
This is what he saw:
That "illuminated little cloud" is what we are celebrating today!
For more details about Peiresc's and other early observations of the Orion nebula go to http://www.pacifier.com/~tpope/Hodierna_and_Rheita.htm