Hunting Orion

[click the image]

Explanation: Cradled in cosmic dust and glowing hydrogen, stellar nurseries in Orion the Hunter lie at the edge of a giant molecular cloud some 1,500 light-years away. Spanning nearly 25 degrees, this breath-taking vista stretches across the well-known constellation from head to toe (left to right). The Great Orion Nebula, the closest large star forming region, is right of center. To its left are the Horsehead NebulaM78, and Orion’s belt stars. Sliding your cursor over the picture will also find red giant Betelgeuse at the hunter’s shoulder, bright blue Rigel at his foot, and the glowing Lambda Orionis (Meissa) nebula at the far left, near Orion’s head. Of course, the Orion Nebula and bright stars are easy to see with the unaided eye, but dust clouds and emission from the extensive interstellar gas in this nebula-rich complex, are too faint and much harder to record. In this mosaic of broadband telescopic images, additional image data acquired with a narrow hydrogen alpha filter was used to bring out the pervasive tendrils of energized atomic hydrogen gas and the arc of the giant Barnard’s Loop.

Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo

link: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap101023.html

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One thought on “Hunting Orion

  1. I’ve always had an odd fascination with red giant suns like betelguese, arcturus, Canus Majoris (the larges sun in the known universe). Canus majoris is 2100 times larger than our sun! Most of our universe would fit inside this sun! Earth would not even register – would be microscopic in comparison. Think of this! We are on the verge of being able to actually “see” an atom. We can see molecules and proteins interacting with their environments in real time on the nanometer scale. I wonder how many nanometers would fit into canus majoris – a number so large as to be = to infinity. But there is a limit to how many nanometers are in Canus majoris and the Universe as a whole. Think about the sizes between the orbit of an electron and the attracting proton/nuetron nucleus of an atom – it’s the same sort of unbelievable scales and relationships as the larger universe. Staggers the mind!

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