Photograph of Orion Nebula, taken by Joseph Turner with the Great Melbourne Telescope on 26 Feb 1883, with an exposure of 4 minutes.

In 1882 astronomers in Britain and America began to successfully use the more sensitive dry plates to photograph nebulae and comets, which had previously not been clearly photographed with wet plates. Astronomers at Melbourne Observatory began experiments using the Great Melbourne Telescope to photograph nebulae in 1882, with mixed results. Assistant Astronomer Joseph Turner got good results taking photos of portions of Orion Nebula with a four minute exposure, but had no success with n Argus Nebula, despite exposures of up to 45 minutes.

This photograph is one of the first successful photos Turner took of the Orion Nebula. His first success was on 11 February 1883, when he took two photos - these were the first photos of nebulae taken in the southern hemisphere.

Description of Content

Section of Orion Nebula to the left of image, several smaller starts surrounding it, background a purple-black colour.

Physical Description

Albumen photograph mounted on card

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