Dusty Orion Nebula in Infrared

Spitzer_ssc2022-07a_1024

spitzer_ssc2022-07a November 22nd, 2022

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/Hershel

This new image of the Orion Nebula produced using previously released data from three telescopes shows two enormous caverns carved out by unseen giant stars that can release up to a million times more light than our Sun. All that radiation breaks apart dust grains there, helping to create the pair of cavities. Much of the remaining dust is swept away when the stars produce wind or when they die explosive deaths as supernovae.

This infrared image shows dust but no stars.

Blue light indicates warm dust heated by unseen massive stars. Observed in infrared light – a range of wavelengths outside what human eyes can detect – the views were provided by NASA’s retired Spitzer Space Telescope and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which now operates under the moniker NEOWISE. Spitzer and WISE were both managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which is a division of Caltech.

Around the edge of the two cavernous regions, the dust that appears green is slightly cooler. Red indicates cold dust that reaches temperatures of about minus 440 Fahrenheit (minus 260 Celsius). The cold dust appears mostly on the outskirts of the dust cloud, away from the regions where stars form. The red and green light shows data from the now-retired Herschel Space Telescope, an ESA (European Space Agency) observatory that captured wavelengths in the far-infrared and microwave ranges, where cold dust radiates.

In between the two hollow regions are orange filaments where dust condenses and forms new stars. Over time, these filaments may produce new giant stars that will once again reshape the region.

Provider: Spitzer Space Telescope

Image Source: https://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/image/ssc2022-07a-dusty-orion-nebula-in-infrared

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: https://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/page/image-use-policy

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Orion Nebula M42 NGC 1976
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula > Type > Star Formation

Distance

Universescale1
1,450 light years
Spitzer_ssc2022-07a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 5h 35m 14.8s
DEC = -5° 20’ 13.0”
Orientation
North is 90.0° CW
Field of View
2.4 x 2.4 degrees
Constellation
Orion

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Spitzer (MIPS) Infrared (Mid-IR) 24.0 µm
Blue WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 22.0 µm
Green Herschel (PACS) Infrared (Far-IR) 100.0 µm
Green Herschel (PACS) Infrared (Far-IR) 160.0 µm
Red Herschel (SPIRE) Infrared (Far-IR) 250.0 µm
Spectrum_ir1
Blue
Blue
Green
Green
Red
Spitzer_ssc2022-07a_1280
×
ID
ssc2022-07a
Subject Category
B.4.1.2.  
Subject Name
Orion Nebula, M42, NGC 1976
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/Hershel
Release Date
2022-11-22
Lightyears
1,450
Redshift
1,450
Reference Url
https://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/image/ssc2022-07a-dusty-orion-nebula-in-infrared
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Spitzer, WISE, Herschel, Herschel, Herschel
Instrument
MIPS, -, PACS, PACS, SPIRE
Color Assignment
Blue, Blue, Green, Green, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Mid-IR, Mid-IR, Far-IR, Far-IR, Far-IR
Central Wavelength
24000, 22000, 100000, 160000, 250000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
83.8117697044053, -5.3369556282288393
Reference Dimension
5362, 5411
Reference Pixel
2681, 2705.5
Scale
-4.44444444444400e-04, 4.44444444444400e-04
Rotation
-90.033000
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
https://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/page/image-use-policy
Publisher
IPAC/Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
Metadata Date
2022-11-23T21:29:29Z
Metadata Version
1.2
×

 

Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

×
Universescalefull
1,450 light years