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The Kid Should See This

Flight through the Orion Nebula in visible and infrared light

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Explore the Orion Nebula, as seen with both visible light from the Hubble Telescope and infrared light via the Spitzer Space Telescope, with the help of this three-dimensional fly-through. The computer-generated visualization of dust, hydrogen, helium, and gas is set to Antonín Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings in E Major. Some context from Gizmodo:

Located 1,350 light-years away, the Orion Nebula is one of the most spectacular features of deep space. It’s just 2 million years old—a short blip in the larger scheme of things. It’s an excellent patch of space for astronomers to investigate, as it shows what our immediate neighborhood looked like some 4.6 billion years ago when our Sun and Earth popped into existence…

This nebula measures about 24 light years across, so the journey conveyed in the new video would require an observer to travel at or even past the speed of light. Watching the video you’ll see newborn stars, glowing clouds of dust and gas heated by intense radiation, and oddly shaped gaseous orbs surrounding protoplanetary disks.

Related exploration: Universe-of-Learning.org, NASA’s integrated astrophysics STEM learning and literacy program.

Next, watch the 1995 Hubble photo that changed astronomy, The Beauty of Space Photography, and another lovely visualization: Solar System, Milky Way, Laniakea: Our home supercluster.

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