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OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: A VISTA of the Orion Nebula

Published on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 08:34

 

orion-vista
Visible and IR images of the Orion Nebula. (ESO/J Emerson/VISTA and R Gendler; Cambridge Astron. Survey Unit)

Visible light (left) and infrared (right) images of the Orion Nebula as seen by ESO’s new VISTA survey telescope. This dusty cloud of gas is a spectacular object in visible light, but VISTA can unveil the detail hidden by the dust to show the larger and more complex structure. Visible light shows the four central stars of the trapezium, but the infrared image shows many more hot, young, energetic stars in this region. The radiation they emit makes the surrounding gas glow. The IR image also shows previously unseen red features, thought to be emission from regions where stellar winds collide with interstellar gas and dust.

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