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Orion Nebula:
Chandra Finds X-ray Star Bonanza in Orion Nebula


Orion Nebula
Credit: NASA/PSU

Chandra Image of the Orion Nebula Star Cluster. This X-ray image shows about a thousand X-ray emitting young stars in the Orion Nebula star cluster. The X rays are produced in the multimillion degree upper atmospheres of these stars. At a distance of about 1800 light years, this cluster is the closest massive star forming region to Earth. It is well-known in the night sky because it illuminates the Orion Nebula. The region shown in this image is about 10 light years across. The bright stars in the center are part of the Trapezium, an association of very young stars with ages less than a million years. The dark vertical and horizontal lines, and the streaks from the brightest stars are instrumental effects.

Fast Facts for Orion Nebula:
Credit  NASA/PSU
Scale  Image is 17 arcmin across.
Category  Normal Stars & Star Clusters
Coordinates (J2000)  RA 05h 35m 14.29s | Dec -05 23' 37.91"
Constellation  Orion
Observation Dates  October 12, 1999
Observation Time  13 hours
Obs. IDs  18, 1522
Color Code  Intensity
Instrument  ACIS
Also Known As M42
References G. Garmire et al. 2000, Astron. J. 120:1426-1435
Distance Estimate  1,500 light years
Release Date  January 14, 2000