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Orion in miniature
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- Title Orion in miniature
- Released 13/01/2006 5:47 pm
- Copyright NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team
The image, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, shows part of the Orion Nebula, 1500 light-years away and the nearest star-forming region to Earth.
Astronomers used 520 Hubble images, taken between 2004 and 2005 in five colours, to make this picture. They also added ground-based photos to fill out the nebula. The ACS mosaic covers approximately the apparent angular size of the full Moon.
A massive star is illuminating this small region, called M43, and sculpting the landscape of dust and gas. Astronomers call the area a miniature Orion Nebula because of its small size and the single star that is shaping it. The Orion Nebula itself is much larger and has four hefty stars that are carving the dust-and-gas terrain.