|Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka|
are the bright bluish stars
from east to west (lower right to upper left) along the diagonal in
this gorgeous cosmic vista.
Otherwise known as the
Belt of Orion, these
three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more
massive than the Sun.
They lie about 1,500 light-years away, born
of Orion's well-studied interstellar clouds.
In fact, clouds of gas and dust adrift in this region have
intriguing and some surprisingly familiar shapes, including the
dark Horsehead Nebula
and Flame Nebula near
Alnitak at the lower right.
The famous Orion Nebula
itself is off the right edge of this colorful star field.
The well-framed, wide-field telescopic image
spans about 4 degrees on the sky.
Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)