What surrounds a hotbed of star formation?
In the case of the
Orion Nebula -- dust.
entire Orion field, located about 1600
light years away, is inundated with intricate and
picturesque filaments of dust.
Opaque to visible light,
dust is created in the outer atmosphere of massive
cool stars and expelled by a strong outer wind of particles.
The Trapezium and other forming star clusters are embedded in the nebula.
The intricate filaments of dust surrounding
M43 appear brown in the
above image, while central glowing gas is highlighted in red.
Over the next few million years much of
Orion's dust will be slowly destroyed by the very stars now being formed, or dispersed into the Galaxy.