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A 3D journey through the Orion Nebula

A 3D journey through the Orion Nebula

Take a tour of one of the most famous star-forming gas clouds in the night sky, the Orion Nebula, with a new, 3D visualization released by NASA. By toggling between the Hubble and Spitzer's views, the movie shows strikingly different details of the Orion Nebula.

The video pans through ethereal colorful gases and dust that form mountains and cavernous valleys, with baby stars interspersed.

They also found 17 candidate brown dwarf companions to red dwarf stars, one brown dwarf pair, and one brown dwarf with a planetary companion.

"By adding depth and structure to the wonderful images, this fly-through helps elucidate the universe for the public, both educating and inspiring". Robert Hurt, lead visualization scientist at IPAC, explained that visualizing the universe in infrared light consisting of multiple wavelengths gives a striking context to the visible light views, which everyone is familiar with. Still, it's not every day the cosmos can be experienced in three dimensions like this. "This movie provides a uniquely immersive chance to see how new features appear as we shift to wavelengths of light normally invisible to our eyes".

It's part of the Orion constellation, easily visible from Earth: The bright center "star" in Orion's sword, located off Orion's belt, is actually an active nebula where new stars are formed.

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The nebula is about 2 million years old and its stars are young, meaning that we have plenty to learn about their development and potential future as they grow.

By combining Hubble data with Spitzer data, the team has been able to provide a much more detailed flythrough.

"Hubble sees objects that glow in visible light, which are typically in the thousands of degrees". Hurt and Summers worked with experts to study the structure within the nebula, beginning with the two-dimensional Spitzer and Hubble images.

Infrared imagery from the Orion Nebula. "The program uses a "direct connection" to NASA science and scientists, to create content that "[enables] youth, families, and lifelong learners to explore fundamental questions in science, experience how science is done, and discover the universe for themselves". The nebula's other components were isolated into layers of image and modeled separately.


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