Thursday, January 20, 2011

NASA Video of Orion nebula

The Orion Nebula is a huge cluster of gas and dust 1350 light years away from Earth. It's been dubbed a "stellar nursery" because huge stars are formed there.

In the video above, you can watch a wide view of the constellation of Orion, then zoom in through Orion's sword.The clip ends with a new image of the nebula itself, revealed in intricate detail.

This image won seventh place in a recent photo competition run by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and is a composite of exposures through five different filters.

The competition invited amateurs to trawl through the observatory's raw data to find beautiful images that had been overlooked by professionals. It was transformed into a colour image by overall winner Ivor Chekalin. A gallery of his images can be seen here.

The image was captured with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory, Chile.

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