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This visualization explores the Orion Nebula using both visible-light observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and infrared-light observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope. The contrast between visible and infrared views of the nebula are examined using two spatially matched three-dimensional models.
As the camera flies into the star-forming region, the sequence cross-fades back and forth between the visible and infrared views. The glowing gaseous landscape has been illuminated and carved by the high-energy radiation and strong stellar winds from the massive hot stars in the central cluster. The infrared observations generally show cooler temperature gas at a deeper layer of the nebula that extends well beyond the visible image. In addition, the infrared showcases many faint stars that shine primarily at longer wavelengths. The higher resolution visible observations show finer details including the wispy bow shocks and tadpole-shaped proplyds. In this manner, the movie illustrates the contrasting features uncovered by multi-wavelength astronomy.
Credits: NASA, ESA, F. Summers, G. Bacon, Z. Levay, J. DePasquale, L. Hustak, L. Frattare, M. Robberto and M. Gennaro (STScI), R. Hurt (Caltech/IPAC)
Acknowledgement: R. Gendler
Music: “Dvorak – Serenade for Strings Op22 in E Major larghetto”, performed by The Advent Chamber Orchestra, CC BY-SA