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False colour image of Orion Nebula with Trapezium

False colour image of Orion Nebula with Trapezium

R570/0060

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Credit

GEORGE FOWLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE FOWLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

False-colour image of the four "Trapezium" stars (black spots near centre) within the Orion Nebula. This image has been colour-coded to show the different levels of intensity of visible light. The largest central spot is theta-1C, a strong X- ray source as well as the brightest in visible light. The Trapezium stars (also known collectively as Theta Orionis) are only a few thousand years old, and are easily discernable through a small telescope. The intense ultraviolet light they produce ionises locally- concentrated gas, giving the glow that is seen as the Orion Nebula. Celestial north is in a direction slightly to the left of top.

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