Astronomy Picture of the Day

A Path To Orion

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#97129 by @ 17.12.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
A Path To Orion


Last Saturday, the
Shuttle Discovery
lit up the night
as it climbed into orbit
href="">above planet Earth.

From Oak Hill, Florida, USA - about 30 miles north
of the Kennedy Space Center - design engineer
Andrew Arigema tracked the shuttle and recorded a four minute
time exposure of the exhaust plume
along Discovery's path against the background of the starry sky.

At the upper left, the end of the drifting plume is
punctuated by
Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka in a vertical line, the belt
stars of Orion.

To the right of the belt stars, the pinkish jewel
in Orion's sword is not a star at all, but the great
Orion Nebula.

Still farther to the right, at the foot of the hunter, lies Rigel,
the brightest star in view.

Rigel is
a hot supergiant star some 700 light-years in the distance.

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