The Orion Nebula is located just south of Orions Belt in the constellation of Orion. The dust that surrounds it is the result of a previous super nova that forcibly sent its elements outwards and now awaits the force of another super nova to begin collapsing the dust together to form the birth of a new star.

What surrounds a hotbed of star formation? In the case of the Orion Nebula — dust. The entire Orion field, located about 1600 light years away, is inundated with intricate and picturesque filaments of dust.

Opaque to visible light, dust is created in the outer atmosphere of massive cool stars and expelled by a strong outer wind of particles.

The Trapezium and other forming star clusters are embedded in the nebula. The intricate filaments of dust surrounding M42 and M43 appear brown in the featured image, while central glowing gas is highlighted in red. Over the next few million years much of Orion’s dust will be slowly destroyed by the very stars now being formed, or dispersed into the Galaxy.

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  1. […] deepest infrared image of the Orion Nebula has uncovered a bonanza of previously unknown low-mass stars and — quite possibly — […]

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