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News Release Archive:

News Release 38 of 131

March 19, 2010 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2010-12

Experience Hubble's Universe in 3-D

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Image: Journey through the Orion Nebula

Journey through the Orion NebulaSTScI-PRC2010-12

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

This image depicts a vast canyon of dust and gas in the Orion Nebula from a 3-D computer model based on observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and created by science visualization specialists at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md. A 3-D visualization of this model takes viewers on an amazing four-minute voyage through the 15-light-year-wide canyon.

During the ride, viewers see bright gaseous clouds, dark nebulae, embryonic planetary systems, and thousands of stars, including a grouping of bright, hefty stars called the Trapezium. The tour ends with a detailed look at a young circumstellar disk, which is much like the structure from which our solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago.

Based on a Hubble image of Orion released in 2006, the 3-D visualization was a collaborative effort between science visualization specialists at STScI, including Greg Bacon, who sculpted the Orion Nebula digital model, with input from STScI astronomer Massimo Roberto; the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

The Orion journey is one of four scenes that are part of the new 43-minute Imax film "Hubble 3D."

Image Type: Illustration

Credit: NASA, G. Bacon, L. Frattare, Z. Levay, and F. Summers (STScI/AURA)