Spitzer and Herschel Reveal Infrared View of New Stars in Orion Nebula

Orion
New Stars in the Orion Nebula seen By Infrared Spitzer and Herschel
Image Credit: NASA / ESA / JPL-Caltech / IRAM

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA have released a new image of star formation in the Trapezium Cluster. The image is a composite of data in the infrared from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory.

Spitzer observes at shorter infrared wavelengths (8.0 and 24 microns), and the data is shown as blue in the image. Herschel’s data is at longer wavelengths (70 and 160 microns), and is shown as green and red. Cool objects such as newly forming clumps that will become stars appear red, whereas hotter embryonic stars appear blue.

The bright blue region in the lower left is illuminated by five massive stars. The cooler red region in the upper right is the home of the newly forming stars, which may begin their fusion life cycle within the next 100,000 years.

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