Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

261,461 subscribers and counting ...

Orion Nebula and molecular gas clouds

Image of the Orion Nebula, shot on a cold night in Georgia, by Dave Woolsteen.

Image via Dave Woolsteen

We asked Dave to tell us about his image. He said:

It is the Orion Nebula in a wide field shot. It was taken about a week ago, just after midnight on a cold night in Gumlog, Georgia (near Lake Hartwell).

It is about 10 shots at Iso 12,000 stacked for the background, 10 shots at Iso 8,000, and 10 at 400 for the core and nebula.

Astronomers think of the Orion Nebula as a place where new stars are being born. But modern technology is letting us see objects less massive than stars inside the Orion Nebula, too. On July 12, 2016, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) released the infrared image below of this mighty cloud of gas and dust in space. They said it’s the deepest-ever look into the Orion Nebula, revealing some 10 times as many brown dwarfs and isolated planetary-mass objects as were previously known. ESO said the discovery poses challenges for the widely accepted scenario for Orion’s star formation history.

This spectacular image of the Orion Nebula star-formation region was obtained from multiple exposures using the HAWK-I infrared camera on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. This is the deepest view ever of this region and reveals more very faint planetary-mass objects than expected. Image via ESO/H. Drass et al.

Spectacular new image of Orion Nebula star-forming region, via ESO/H. Drass et al.

Bottom line: Image of the Orion Nebula.

Eleanor Imster

MORE ARTICLES