Orion nebula, optical image

Orion nebula, optical image

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This image is part of the feature Beautiful Nebulae

Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Orion nebula. Optical image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, showing the stars that lie near the 'sword' of the constellation Orion. Seen here is an active stellar nursery containing thousands of young stars and developing protostars. Many will turn out like our sun. Some are even more massive. These massive stars light up the Orion nebula - seen here as the bright region near the centre of the image. Above the Orion nebula is a dark filamentary cloud of cold dust and gas, over 5 light-years in length, containing ruby red protostars. These are the newest generation of stars in this stellar nursery, and include the protostar HOPS 68.

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Keywords: active, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, born, bright, cloud, clouds, cold, cosmic, dark, developing, dust, filamentary, formation, forming, gas, hops 68, m42, massive, messier 42, nasa, nebula, ngc 1976, optical, orion, orion nebula, orion'ss sword, protostar, protostars, space, spitzer space telescope, star, star birth, starbirth, starry, stars, stellar, stellar nursery, young

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