Related topics: spitzer space telescope

Lifting the veil on star formation in the Orion Nebula

The stellar wind from a newborn star in the Orion Nebula prevents more new stars from forming nearby. That is the result of new research conducted by an international research team led by the University of Cologne (Germany) ...

Image: The cat in Orion

What is the first creature that comes to mind when you look at the dark cloud in this image? Perhaps a dark kitten with a vivid white nose, front paws stretching towards the right of the frame and tail up towards the left? ...

Hubble finds substellar objects in the Orion Nebula

Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to peer deep into the vast stellar nursery called the Orion Nebula, astronomers searched for small, faint bodies. What they found was the largest population yet of brown dwarfs—objects ...

A tale of three stellar cities

Using new observations from ESO's VLT Survey Telescope, astronomers have discovered three different populations of baby stars within the Orion Nebula Cluster. This unexpected discovery adds very valuable new insights for ...

ALMA hears birth cry of a massive baby star

Stars form from gas and dust floating in interstellar space. But, astronomers do not yet fully understand how it is possible to form the massive stars seen in space. One key issue is gas rotation. The parent cloud rotates ...

Speeding star gives new clues to breakup of multi-star system

A remarkable new discovery using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals three stars that now hold the record as the youngest-known examples of a super-fast-flying breed. "Until these observations, only a few—but older—examples ...

New Hubble mosaic of the Orion Nebula

In the search for rogue planets and failed stars astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have created a new mosaic image of the Orion Nebula. During their survey of the famous star formation region, they found ...

page 1 from 7

Orion Nebula

The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated south[b] of Orion's Belt. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344±20 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. Older texts frequently referred to the Orion Nebula as the Great Nebula in Orion or the Great Orion Nebula. Yet older, astrological texts refer to it as Ensis (Latin for "sword"), which was also the name given to the star Eta Orionis, which can be seen close to the nebula from Earth.

The Orion Nebula is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky, and is among the most intensely studied celestial features. The nebula has revealed much about the process of how stars and planetary systems are formed from collapsing clouds of gas and dust. Astronomers have directly observed protoplanetary disks, brown dwarfs, intense and turbulent motions of the gas, and the photo-ionizing effects of massive nearby stars in the nebula. There are also supersonic "bullets" of gas piercing the dense hydrogen clouds of the Orion Nebula. Each bullet is ten times the diameter of Pluto's orbit and tipped with iron atoms glowing bright blue. They were probably formed one thousand years ago from an unknown violent event.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA