Optical photo of the Orion Nebula

Optical photo of the Orion Nebula

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Credit: NOAO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Optical photograph of the Orion Nebula (M42), a bright cloud of gas & dust where stars are in the process of forming. Located 1600 light years away in the constellation of Orion, M42's fan-shaped traceries are spread out over 15 light years of space. Ultraviolet radiation from the hot, young stars embedded in the nebula ionises the surrounding gas, causing it to glow. The nebula's constituent gases include hydrogen, helium, oxygen, carbon, neon, nitrogen, suphur, argon & chlorine. The photograph was taken with the 4- meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. This picture may not be used to state/imply NOAO endorsement of a commercial product or service.

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Keywords: astronomy, cosmology, evolution, m42, ngc 1976, orion nebula, science, star birth, starbirth, stellar formation

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