The most casual observers usually know about the Orion Constellation and its most famous object, the Great Orion Nebula, which is also named M42. One of my favorite objects is M43, which is nestled near the trapezium of the Great Orion Nebula, but M43 is a distinct object by itself. M43 is a beautiful colorful nebula around a central 7th magnitude star that is sometimes called Bond’s star. The history of the name is pretty obscure, but I used the name in my observing sheet in early 2011 when I studied the object. I have observed it several times. Tonight I can see this area of the sky settle on the Western horizon, so it will be next winter before we can see it very well again.
Nearly all descriptions of M42 and M43 are heavily laced with an evolutionary world view. That is a shame in view of God’s statements about His creating the stars and the heavens. So before this constellation and its objects become typically forgotten until they begin to rise in the East in late 2014, let me raise my voice once more to declare the greatness of my Creator, Who created and placed the the stars and planets in our celestial sphere on Day 4 of creation. As echoed by the prophets and a dozen books of the Bible, I declare that the heavens show His glory. They are not an accident. They point to Him. They did not take billions of years on earth’s clocks to form. They took a small portion of Day 4 of Creation. Further, their placement was deliberate and each was named. While the created universe winds down due to sin, it still retains features and characteristics that remind us of His power. The fact that we can see the heavens on successive days speaks of His mercy continuing as He waits for people to reach out to Him.
It is that sentiment that I still remember when I observed and recorded M43 on that early 2011 Winter night.