Hubble's sharpest view of the Orion Nebula

Esahubble_heic0601a_1024

esahubble_heic0601a January 11th, 2006

Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto ( Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team

This dramatic image offers a peek inside a cavern of roiling dust and gas where thousands of stars are forming. The image, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, represents the sharpest view ever taken of this region, called the Orion Nebula. More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this image. Some of them have never been seen in visible light. These stars reside in a dramatic dust-and-gas landscape of plateaus, mountains, and valleys that are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon. The Orion Nebula is a picture book of star formation, from the massive, young stars that are shaping the nebula to the pillars of dense gas that may be the homes of budding stars. The bright central region is the home of the four heftiest stars in the nebula. The stars are called the Trapezium because they are arranged in a trapezoid pattern. Ultraviolet light unleashed by these stars is carving a cavity in the nebula and disrupting the growth of hundreds of smaller stars. Located near the Trapezium stars are stars still young enough to have disks of material encircling them. These disks are called protoplanetary disks or "proplyds" and are too small to see clearly in this image. The disks are the building blocks of solar systems. The bright glow at upper left is from M43, a small region being shaped by a massive, young star's ultraviolet light. Astronomers call the region a miniature Orion Nebula because only one star is sculpting the landscape. The Orion Nebula has four such stars. Next to M43 are dense, dark pillars of dust and gas that point toward the Trapezium. These pillars are resisting erosion from the Trapezium's intense ultraviolet light. The glowing region on the right reveals arcs and bubbles formed when stellar winds - streams of charged particles ejected from the Trapezium stars - collide with material. The faint red stars near the bottom are the myriad brown dwarfs that Hubble spied for the first time in the nebula in visible light. Sometimes called "failed stars," brown dwarfs are cool objects that are too small to be ordinary stars because they cannot sustain nuclear fusion in their cores the way our Sun does. The dark red column, below, left, shows an illuminated edge of the cavity wall. The Orion Nebula is 1,500 light-years away, the nearest star-forming region to Earth. Astronomers used 520 Hubble images, taken in five colours, to make this picture. They also added ground-based photos to fill out the nebula. The ACS mosaic covers approximately the apparent angular size of the full moon. The Orion observations were taken between 2004 and 2005.

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0601a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Messier 42 Messier 43 Orion Nebula
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula > Type > Star Formation
Nebula > Appearance > Emission > H II Region
Esahubble_heic0601a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 5h 35m 9.7s
DEC = -5° 24’ 50.3”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
30.0 x 30.0 arcminutes
Constellation
Orion

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Hubble (ACS) (Z) -
Hubble (ACS) (I) -
Hubble (ACS) (H-alpha) -
Hubble (ACS) (V) -
Hubble (ACS) -
Hubble (ACS) (B) -
Additional observational data from the WFI instrument on the ESO.MPG 2.2-metre telescope.
Esahubble_heic0601a_1280
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ID
heic0601a
Subject Category
B.4.1.2   B.4.2.1.1  
Subject Name
Messier 42, Messier 43, Orion Nebula
Credits
NASA, ESA, M. Robberto ( Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team
Release Date
2006-01-11T16:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0601a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Distance in light years to the Orion Nebula.
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
ACS, ACS, ACS, ACS, ACS, ACS
Color Assignment
Band
Bandpass
Z, I, H-alpha, V, -, B
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
A
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
83.7905320053, -5.41397796614
Reference Dimension
18000.0, 18000.0
Reference Pixel
9000.0, 9000.0
Scale
-2.78028143237e-05, 2.78028143237e-05
Rotation
0
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Data is calculated based on Simbad coordinates! Using this image as an overlay on a DSS background, a 5 arcsec (or so) difference is expected to be seen!
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
http://www.spacetelescope.org/
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
heic0601a
Metadata Date
2006-01-02T13:36:27-05:00
Metadata Version
1.0
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.