|How do planets form?
To help find out, the
Hubble Space Telescope
was tasked to take a detailed look
at one of the more interesting of all astronomical
nebulae, the Great Nebula in Orion.
The Orion nebula, visible with the
unaided eye near the
belt in the
constellation of Orion,
is an immense nearby
starbirth region and
probably the most famous of all astronomical nebulas.
Insets to the above mosaic show
numerous proplyds, many of which are stellar nurseries likely harboring
planetary systems in formation.
Some proplyds glow as close disks surrounding bright stars light up, while other
contain disks further from their host star, contain cooler
dust, and hence appear as dark
silhouettes against brighter gas.
Studying this dust, in particular, is giving insight for how planets are forming.
Many proplyd images also show
arcs that are
- fronts where fast moving material encounters slow moving gas.
The Orion Nebula lies about 1,500
light years distant and is located in the same
spiral arm of
as our Sun.
the HST Orion Treasury Project Team, &