When ever I read about Nebula an Star forming locations I think about the purpose of the Universe. Many people argue that the factors for life were just right, and that if any of the carefully refined settings were changed, the values or ratios for Gravity, Electromagnetic Force, the Strong and Weak forces, then life would never have begun.

On the flip side when you look at it carefully it’s not that the Universe is dialled specifically for life, because life really just isn’t very abundant. The universe is in fact tuned for Star and Galaxy formation…. something of which the Universe is incredibly abundant with in every direction.

The deepest infrared image of the Orion Nebula has uncovered a bonanza of previously unknown low-mass stars and — quite possibly — free floating planets. The picturesque nebula is best known in visible light where it shows a many bright stars and bright glowing gas. Catalogued as M42, the Orion Nebula at a distance of 1300¬†light years is the closest major star forming region to Earth. One can peer into Orion’s pervasive dust in infrared light, as was done again recently with the sophisticated¬†HAWK-I camera attached to one of the European Southern Observatory‘s Very Large Telescopes in the high mountains of Chile. High resolution versions of the featured infrared deep image show many points of light, many of which are surely brown dwarf stars but some of which are best fit by an unexpectedly high abundance of free-floating¬†planets. Understanding how these low mass objects formed is important to understanding star formation generally and may even help humanity to better understand the early years of our Solar System.

 

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