The Orion Nebula

The Orion Nebula
From the Hubble Space Telescope
This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image is of a region of the Great Nebula in Orion, which is 1,500 light-years away, in the direction of the constellation Orion the Hunter. It is one of the nearest regions of very recent star formation (300,000 years ago). The nebula is a giant gas cloud illuminated by the brightest of the young hot stars at the top of the picture. Many of the fainter young stars are surrounded by disks of dust and gas that are slightly more than twice the diameter of the Solar System.
The great plume of gas in the lower left in this exposure is the result of the ejection of material from a recently formed star. The brightest portions are "hills" on the surface of the nebula, and the long bright bar is where Earth observers look along a long "wall" on a gaseous surface. The diagonal length of the image is 1.6 light-years. Red light depicts emission in Nitrogen; green is Hydrogen; and blue is Oxygen.
Image Title: Hubble Probes the Great Orion Nebula
based on press release for PHOTO NO.: STScI-PR94-26c
credit: C.R. O'Dell/Rice University and NASA

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Last Modified On: Sunday, December 17, 2000