Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Galaxy is on Orion's Belt!

This stunning new photograph is courtesy of the Hubble Space Observatory. You know, the one that the preznit would like to defund.

Via, The Splendor of Orion

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Scientists have created the most detailed portrait ever of the closest known star factory, the Orion Nebula. They have also uncovered new details about the stellar winds responsible for carving out the nebula's ghostly shapes.

Meanwhile, another research group identified a glowing gas cloud in another region of the night sky that might replace Orion when it fades from view in about 100,000 years.

The findings were announced here at the 207th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Orion is located 1,500 light-years away and is the nearest region of massive star-formation to Earth. Located at the center of the Orion Nebula is a group of four young, massive stars; they are collectively referred to as the "Trapezium" because of the shape they make. The Trapezium is surrounded by a halo of 1,000 faint, low-mass stars similar to the Sun. has delicious, geeky, astromony goodness everyday.


Vicki said...

This is a gorgeous picture!

You're doing a fabulous job with your blog!

Keep up the good work!

four legs good said...

Thanks Vicki!

rondea,ghost said...

"Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain."

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Anonymous said...

Correcting some misconceptions.

1) The Galaxy is not on Orion's belt (except in MIB). The plane of the galaxy passes some 30deg above Orion.

2) The picture is of the Great Nebula in Orion.

3) Orion is not a single object, but an asterism (a grouping of stars named by humans as a constellation, but not necessarily connected).

4) The various stars are at various distances. The stars in the nebula are about 1300ly away.

The rest of the stars in Orion range from 26ly, Pi3 Ori, to 32600ly, Xi2 Orion.