This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows what lies near the sword of the constellation Orion -- an active stellar nursery containing thousands of young stars and developing protostars. Many will turn out like our sun.
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Stars Adorn Orion's Sword

This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows what lies near the sword of the constellation Orion -- an active stellar nursery containing thousands of young stars and developing protostars. Many will turn out like our sun. Some are even more massive. These massive stars light up the Orion nebula, which is seen here as the bright region near the center of the image.

To the north of the Orion nebula is a dark filamentary cloud of cold dust and gas, over 5 light-years in length, containing ruby red protostars that jewel the hilt of Orion's sword. These are the newest generation of stars in this stellar nursery, and include the protostar HOPS 68, where Spitzer spotted tiny green crystals in a surrounding cloud of gas.

Image details

ID#:
PIA14101

Date added:
2011-05-26

Mission:
Spitzer Space Telescope

Spacecraft:
Spitzer Space Telescope

Instruments:
Infrared Array Camera (IRAC)

Size:
3220 x 6000 pixels (width x height)

Rating:



Views:
14,296

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA14101.tif (57.96 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA14101.jpg (0.86 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech