Credit: Image Data – Hubble Legacy Archive, Processing – Robert Gendler

In this colorful cosmic portrait, Hubble captured the essence of this famous stellar nursery, showing the intricate filaments of ionized material that comprise the heart of Orion.

Located directly in the center of the nebula, we can see the Trapezium star cluster, which are all located within a small region that is merely 1.5 light-years in radius. The energetic ultraviolet winds streaming from the young stars (particularly Theta-1 Orionis C, the brightest of the bunch) play a large part in the ionization that makes the region one of the most beautiful and celebrated star forming regions in our galaxy.

The nebula (and its stellar occupants) can be found about 1,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Orion.

See a larger image here, or download a high-resolution copy here.


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