The Orion Nebula is a roiling region of dust and gas where thousands of stars are being born. Located 1,300 light-years away, it is the nearest area of star formation to Earth. More than 3,000 stars of various sizes reside in a dramatic landscape of plateaus, mountains, and valleys.
This scientific visualization takes the viewer across interstellar space and into a 3D model of the Orion Nebula. After traversing among the stars, the camera descends through Orion’s veil of bluish gas, down the valley carved by winds and high-energy radiation, and past the bright stars of the trapezium in the core of the nebula. The 3D model combines astronomical knowledge, scientific intuition, and artistic interpretation to create an awe-inspiring journey into the star-forming cloud.
NASA, ESA, F. Summers, G. Bacon, L. Frattare, Z. Levay, and K. Litaker (STScI);
Acknowledgment: A. Mellinger, R. Gendler, and R. Andreo
Production: January 11, 2006
Publication: August 25, 2015