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Embracing Orion

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Posted August 27, 2013
Embracing Orion

Orion A. Credit: ESA/Herschel/ Ph. André, V. Könyves, N. Schneider (CEA Saclay, France) for the Gould Belt survey Key Programme

This new view of the Orion A star-formation cloud from ESA’s Herschel space observatory shows the turbulent region of space that hugs the famous Orion Nebula.

The nebula lies about 1500 light years from Earth within the ‘sword of Orion’ – below the three main stars that form the belt of the Orion constellation.

In this view, the nebula corresponds to the brightest region in the centre of the image, where it is lit up by the Trapezium group of stars at its heart.

The scene is awash with turbulent star formation, the fierce ultraviolet radiation of massive new born stars blasting away their surrounding cloudy cocoons, carving ethereal shapes into the gas and dust.

Wispy tendrils rise like flames away from some of the most intense regions of star formation, while pillars of denser material withstand the searing blaze for longer.

Great arms of gas and dust extend from the Orion Nebula to form a ring, while a spine of cooler material weaves up through the scene to a halo of cloudy star-formation material above.

Read more at: Phys.org

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