Orion Nebula, M42, NGC 1976

Stsci_1995-45a_1024

stsci_1995-45a November 20th, 1995

Credit: NASA, C.R. O'Dell and S.K. Wong

This spectacular color panorama of the center the Orion nebula is one of the largest pictures ever assembled from individual images taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The picture, seamlessly composited from a mosaic of 15 separate fields, covers an area of sky about five percent the area covered by the full Moon. The seemingly infinite tapestry of rich detail revealed by Hubble shows a churning turbulent star factory set within a maelstrom of flowing, luminescent gas. Though this 2.5 light-years wide view is still a small portion of the entire nebula, it includes almost all of the light from the bright glowing clouds of gas and a star cluster associated with the nebula. Hubble reveals details as small as 4.1 billion miles across. Hubble Space Telescope observing time was devoted to making this panorama because the nebula is a vast laboratory for studying the processes which gave birth to our own Sun and solar system 4.5 billion years ago. Many of the nebula's details can't be captured in a single picture - any more than one snapshot of the Grand Canyon yields clues to its formation and history. Like the Grand Canyon, the Orion nebula has a dramatic surface topography - of glowing gasses instead of rock - with peaks, valleys and walls. They are illuminated and heated by a torrent of energetic ultraviolet light from its four hottest and most massive stars, called the Trapezium, which lie near the center of the image. In addition to the Trapezium, this stellar cavern contains 700 hundred other young stars at various stages of formation. High-speed jets of hot gas spewed by some of the infant stars send supersonic shock waves tearing into the nebula at 100,000 miles per hour. These shock waves appear as thin curved loops, sometimes with bright knots on their end (the brightest examples are near the bright star at the lower left). The mosaic reveals at least 153 glowing protoplanetary disks (first discovered with the Hubble in 1992, and dubbed "proplyds"

Provider: Space Telescope Science Institute

Image Source: https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/1995/news-1995-45

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

Image Use Policy: http://hubblesite.org/copyright/

Image Details

Image Type
Planetary
Object Name
Crucible of Creation: Panoramic Image of Center of the Orion Neb
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula > Type > Star Formation

Distance

Universescale1
1,500 light years
Stsci_1995-45a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 5h 35m 15.9s
DEC = -5° 23’ 30.3”
Orientation
North is 0.3° CCW
Field of View
7.1 x 7.6 arcminutes
Constellation
Orion

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (OII) 502.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (Halpha) 656.0 nm
Red Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (NII) 658.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Red
Stsci_1995-45a_1280
×
ID
1995-45a
Subject Category
B.4.1.2  
Subject Name
Crucible of Creation: Panoramic Image of Center of the Orion Neb
Credits
NASA, C.R. O'Dell and S.K. Wong
Release Date
1995-11-20T00:00:00
Lightyears
1,500
Redshift
1,500
Reference Url
https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/1995/news-1995-45
Type
Planetary
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Distance in Lightyears
Facility
Hubble, Hubble, Hubble
Instrument
WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
OII, Halpha, NII
Central Wavelength
502, 656, 658
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
2000.0
Reference Value
83.81634003472, -5.39175447056
Reference Dimension
2730.00, 2940.00
Reference Pixel
1174.32009823778, 1297.64187623606
Scale
-0.00004321758, 0.00004321758
Rotation
0.30384364217
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
World Coordinate System resolved using PinpointWCS 0.9.2 revision 218+ by the Chandra X-ray Center FITS X FITS Y EPO X EPO Y 1475.26 1535.93 1045.57 1557.97 1411.39 1785.00 1005.75 1710.30 996.28 1673.23 739.17 1642.79 1203.83 1868.02 873.09 1770.09 798.30 1909.53 611.60 1795.81 910.06 1858.44 683.82 1765.88 1331.00 2100.17 955.18 1919.15 Center Pixel Coordinates: 1365.00 83.80802244817 1470.00 -5.38429381091
Creator (Curator)
STScI
URL
http://hubblesite.org
Name
Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach
Email
outreach@stsci.edu
Telephone
410-338-4444
Address
3700 San Martin Drive
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
USA
Rights
http://hubblesite.org/copyright/
Publisher
STScI
Publisher ID
stsci
Resource ID
STSCI-H-p9545a-f-2730x2940.tif
Resource URL
https://mast.stsci.edu/api/latest/Download/file?uri=mast:OPO/product/STSCI-H-p9545a-f-2730x2940.tif
Related Resources
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1995/45
Metadata Date
2022-07-06T00:00:00
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
1,500 light years