Astronomy Picture of the Day
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November 21, 1995
M42: Orion Nebula Mosaic
HST, C. R. O'Dell and S. K. Wong
The Great Nebula in
Orion is one of the most interesting of all astronomical nebulae known.
pictures from the
Hubble Space Telescope have been merged to show
the great expanse and diverse nature of the nebula. In addition to housing
open cluster of stars known as the
Trapezium, the Orion Nebula contains many
stellar nurseries. These nurseries contain
hot young stars,
proplyds, and stellar
jets spewing material at high speeds. Much of
the filamentary structure visible in this image are actually shock waves -
fronts where fast moving material encounters slow moving gas. Some shock
waves are visible near one of the bright stars in the lower left of the
Orion Nebula is located in the same spiral arm of
our Galaxy as is our
Sun. It takes light about 1500 years to
reach us from there.
Tomorrow's picture: M1: The Exploding Crab Nebula
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