The Orion Nebula from Spitzer

A colony of hot, young stars is stirring up the cosmic scene in this new picture from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Image credit: NASA/JPL/California Institute of Technology

I have looked at Orion in many recent posts. The Orion molecular cloud complex extends several degrees on the sky roughly centred on M42 and M43, shown in the main image. The complex contains many other well-known objects including M78, the Flame Nebula, and the famous Becklin-Neugebauer object, a protostar and one of the first finds of infrared astronomy, detected in 1966. The location on the sky of the three Messier objects is shown (left), as is the young O9.5V star sigma Orionis, which is associated with a young cluster known for containing planetary mass objects. The star itself is now known to be photoevaporating a nearby (1200 AU) dust cloud.


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