The Trapezium Cluster

The Orion Nebula is arguably the finest of all nebulae within the Milky Way visible from the Northern Hemisphere. With a gaseous repository of 10,000 suns, and illuminated by a cluster of hot young stars, the clouds of Messier 42 — as it is also known — glow with fantastic colours and shapes, giving us a bird’s eye view of one of the greatest star forming nurseries in our part of the Milky Way. Messier 42 is a complex of glowing gas, mostly hydrogen but also helium, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen in decreasing amounts, located 1,500 light-years away. At its very heart, we find the Trapezium, a group of four very hot stars that illuminate the nebula. They are the brightest of an extended cluster of several thousand young stars many of which lie unseen within the opaque gas and dust. Amazingly, whilst the Orion Nebula is easy to identify with the unaided eye, there is apparently no written record of its existence before the 17th century.

This image is based on data acquired with the 1.5 m Danish telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory in Chile, through three filters (B: 60 s, V: 30 s, R: 21 s). East is at the upper right corner and North is at the lower right. 

Credit:

ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/R.Gendler, J.-E. Ovaldsen, and A. Hornstrup

About the Image

Id:trapeziumdk15b
Type:Observation
Release date:3 December 2009, 23:18
Size:2030 x 2053 px

About the Object

Type:• X - Nebulae
Distance:1400 light years
Constellation:Orion

Image Formats

Large JPEG
612.9 KB
Screensize JPEG
143.2 KB

Wallpapers

1024x768
171.1 KB
1280x1024
257.7 KB
1600x1200
352.2 KB
1920x1200
412.0 KB
2048x1536
529.8 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):5 35 21.23
Position (Dec):-5° 24' 45.62"

Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Optical
B
Danish 1.54-metre telescope
Optical
V
Danish 1.54-metre telescope
Optical
R
Danish 1.54-metre telescope

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