Astronomy Picture of the Day

Orion's Cradle

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#98431 by @ 26.01.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Orion's Cradle


Cradled in glowing hydrogen,
in Orion
lie at
the edge
of a giant molecular cloud some 1,500 light-years away.

This breath-taking view
spans about 13 degrees across
the center of the well-known constellation with the
Great Orion
, the closest large star forming region,
just right of center.

The deep mosaic
(left of center), the Horsehead
Nebula, the Flame Nebula, and Orion's belt stars.

Image data acquired with a
hydrogen alpha filter adds
other remarkable features to this wide angle
cosmic vista -- pervasive tendrils of energized
atomic hydrogen gas and portions of the surrounding
Barnard's Loop.

While the Orion Nebula and belt stars are easy to see with the
unaided eye, emission from the extensive interstellar
gas is faint and much harder to record, even in telescopic views of the
nebula-rich complex.

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