A NASA Hubble Space Telescope picture of a hypersonic shock wave (lower right) of material moving at 148,000 miles per hour in the Orion Nebula, a star-forming region 1,500 light-years away.
Studies of similar objects infer that such highly supersonic shock waves are formed by a beam of material coming out of newly formed stars.
The plume is only 1,500 years old. The image is 112 light-year across.
This color photograph is a composite of separate images taken at the wavelengths of the two abundant elements in the nebula: Hydrogen and Oxygen. The images were taken with HST's Wide Field and Planetary Camera (in wide field mode), on August 13 and 14, 1991.
Credit: C.R. O'Dell (Rice University), and NASA