Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

January 27, 1998

The Great Nebula in Orion
Credit & Copyright: J. Ware

Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion can be found just below and to the left of the easily identifiable belt of three stars in the popular constellation Orion. This fuzzy patch contains one of the closest stellar nurseries, lying at a distance of about 1500 light years. In the above picture, the red region on the left consists of nebulae designated M42 and M43 and contains the bright Trapezium open cluster. The blue region on the right is a nebula primarily reflecting the light from internal bright stars. Recent observations of the Orion Nebula by the Hubble Space Telescope have located solar-system sized star-forming regions.

在廣為周知的獵戶座之腰帶三星的下左方,可找到獵戶大星雲。 這個瀰漫的光斑擁有離我們最近,距離約1500光年遠的恆星形成區之一。 在上面的影像裡,左側的泛紅區有編錄號為M42及M43的二團星雲,其內則有明亮的疏散星團 - 四邊形星團。 右側的泛藍區是另一個星雲,因反射內部明亮恆星的星光而現形。 最近哈伯太空望遠鏡針對獵戶大星雲所進行的觀測,發現了許多大小和太陽系相當的恆星形成區。

Tomorrow's picture: The Infrared Sky

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