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.

2018 January 17
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

In the Valley of Orion
Visualization Credit: NASA, ESA, F. Summers, G. Bacon,
Z. Levay, J. DePasquale, L. Frattare, M. Robberto, M. Gennaro (STScI) and R. Hurt (Caltech/IPAC)

Explanation: This exciting and unfamiliar view of the Orion Nebula is a visualization based on astronomical data and movie rendering techniques. Up close and personal with a famous stellar nursery normally seen from 1,500 light-years away, the digitally modeled frame transitions from a visible light representation based on Hubble data on the left to infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope on the right. The perspective at the center looks along a valley over a light-year wide, in the wall of the region's giant molecular cloud. Orion's valley ends in a cavity carved by the energetic winds and radiation of the massive central stars of the Trapezium star cluster. The single frame is part of a multiwavelength, three-dimensional video that lets the viewer experience an immersive, three minute flight through the Great Nebula of Orion.

Tomorrow's picture: blue comet, orange star

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