Astronomy Picture of the Day
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July 3, 1995
The Great Nebula in Orion
Picture Credit: NASA, Hubble Space Telescope
The Great Nebula in Orion, M42, can be found on the night sky just below and
to the left of the easily identifiable belt of three stars in the popular
constellation Orion. This nebula is one of the closest stellar nurseries -
where young stars are being formed even now.
Clumps of gas (mostly hydrogen and helium) and dust in the nebula
are squeezed together by their own gravity until they collapse and
Some stars we can see here partially obscured by the nebula,
are only about 100,000 years
old - just babies compared to the 5 billion (5,000,000,000) years of
For more information see
NASA, Hubble Space Telescope Scientific Institute press release.
The Firework Nebula
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