Planck View of the Orion Nebula

Planck_planck10-002a_1024

planck_planck10-002a April 26th, 2010

Credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech

The big Hunter in the sky is seen in a new light by Planck, a European Space Agency mission with significant NASA participation. The long-wavelength image shows most of the constellation Orion, highlighting turbid clouds of cold material, where new stars are being stirred into existence.

This long-wavelength image covers a square region of 13 by 13 degrees (which is equivalent to 26 by 26 full moons). It is a three-color combination constructed from three of Planck's nine frequency channels: 30, 353 and 857 gigahertz.

The Planck mission is busy surveying the whole sky at longer wavelengths of light than we can see with our eyes, ranging from infrared to even longer-wavelength microwaves. It is collecting ancient light from the very beginning of time to learn more about the birth and fate of our universe. In the process, the mission is gathering data on our Milky Way galaxy that astronomers are using to see through cold pools of gas and dust, which block visible-light views of star formation.

The image shows one such region in our Milky Way, where stars are actively bursting to life. The much-photographed Orion nebula is the bright spot to the lower center. The bright spot to the right of center is around the Horsehead Nebula, so called because at high magnifications a pillar of dust resembles a horse's head. The whole view covers a square patch of sky equivalent to 26 by 26 moons.

The giant red arc of Barnard's Loop is thought to be the blast wave from a star that blew up inside the region about two million years ago. The bubble it created is now about 300 light-years across.

On the left is a close up of the Orion nebula, captured by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Planck is measuring the sky at nine wavelengths of light, three of which are shown here.

Image Source: http://planck.ipac.caltech.edu/image/planck10-002a

Curator: NASA Planck Science Center, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: Public Domain

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Image Details

Image Type
Collage
Object Name
Orion Nebula Messier 42 M42 Barnard's Loop
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula » Type » Interstellar Medium
Nebula » Type » Star Formation

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Planck Millimeter 350.0 µm
Arrow_left_green Planck Millimeter 850.0 µm
Arrow_left_red Planck Millimeter 10.0 mm
Spectrum_ir2
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Planck_planck10-002a_1280
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ID
planck10-002a
Subject Category
B.4.1.1   B.4.1.2  
Subject Name
Orion Nebula, Messier 42, M42, Barnard's Loop
Credits
ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
http://planck.ipac.caltech.edu/image/planck10-002a
Type
Collage
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Planck, Planck, Planck
Instrument
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Millimeter, Millimeter, Millimeter
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
350000, 850000, 10000000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
NASA Planck Science Center
URL
http://planck.ipac.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
Public Domain
Publisher
Publisher ID
planck
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/planck/planck10-002a
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2018-01-19T01:56:35Z
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.