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This visualization journeys into the famous star-forming region of the Orion Nebula based on an image from the Hubble Space Telescope. This exhilarating trip begins by flying through a layer of gas above the nebula, called the "veil". The descent to the gaseous surface provides an overview of the structure of the region as the winds and radiation from the central cluster have carved out a long "valley" in the cloud. The massive bright stars are responsible for heating the gas to temperatures at which it glows. Their strong stellar winds also blow back the gas around nearby newly formed stars creating tadpole-shaped structures. Within these objects, called proplyds, planets may be forming inside dark, dusty disks encircling the stars. These young stars can also emit jets of radiation which, in turn, create wispy bow shocks throughout the region. All of these features are found in the Hubble image and have been modeled for this visualization.
Video: Frank Summers, Greg Bacon, Zolt Levay, Lisa Frattare, Massimo Robberto (STScI);
Acknowledgment: Robert Gendler;
Music: "Blizzard (PON I)", Kai Engel, CC BY-NC
Production: November 27, 2017
Publication: February 6, 2018