Orion Nebula Mosaic

Orion Nebula Mosaic Astronomy Aviation & Space Exploration STEM Visual Arts

This image of the Orion Nebula Mosaic (M 42) is actually a merger of fifteen separate images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.  What is this nebula, and how did this picture come about?

We get the answers to those questions from NASA:

The Great Nebula in Orion is one of the most interesting of all astronomical nebulae known. Here fifteen pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope have been merged to show the great expanse and diverse nature of the nebula.

In addition to housing a bright open cluster of stars known as the Trapezium, the Orion Nebula contains many stellar nurseries. These nurseries contain hydrogen gas, 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 picture.

The Orion Nebula is located in the same spiral arm of our Galaxy [the Milky Way] as is our Sun. It takes light about 1500 years to reach us from there.

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Image, described above, by  NASA, HST, C. R. O'Dell and S. K. Wong (Rice University)


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"Orion Nebula Mosaic" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Nov 13, 2019.
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