The Great Orion Nebula (M42)

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The Orion Nebula: Infrared and Visible Views

This sequence uses infrared (Spitzer) and visible (Hubble) images to reveal the formation of stars within a large cloud of hydrogen gas and dust. The warm gas lights up in the infrared view as red, and the hydrocarbon dust appears in green. The starlight from young stars appears in blue.

Hubble's Flight Through Orion Nebula in Visible and Infrared Light

This visualization explores the Orion Nebula using both visible and infrared light. The sequence begins with a wide-field view of the sky showing the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, then zooms down to the scale of the Orion Nebula. The visible-light observation (from the Hubble Space Telescope) and the infrared-light observation (from the Spitzer Space Telescope) are compared first in two-dimensional images, and then in 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.

Video Credit: NASA, ESA, and F. Summers, G. Bacon, Z. Levay, J. DePasquale, L. Hustak, L. Frattare, M. Robberto, M. Gennaro (STScI), R. Hurt (Caltech/IPAC), M. Kornmesser (ESA), A. Fujii and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team (STScI)

In addition, I've added amazing images of the Orion Nebula that I obtained from the following organizations: NASA, JPL-Caltech, STScI, IRAM, Spitzer Space Telescope, Univ. of Toledo, ESO, Digitized Sky Survey 2, J. Emerson, VISTA, Stanislav Volskiy, Jesús M. Vargas & Maritxu Poyal, M. Robberto (STScI/ESA), and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team

Music: "Solace (Ft. Telepathics)" by Blure


Elle-Iza Logan says:

This is just gorgeous. 😍 I had to show it to my children right away, they are just as mesmerized as I am. (Beautiful choice of music, too.) And you've got 10 more nebulas to look at. Yay! 💖

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