Orion Trapezium Cluster

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Orion Trapezium Cluster: A star-forming region in the constellation of Orion.
(Credit: NASA/MIT/N.Schulz et al.)

Caption: The Orion Trapezium cluster is a subgroup of very young stars concentrated in a region only 3 light years across at the core of the Orion Nebula star cluster. The Trapezium cluster offers a prime view into a stellar nursery. It is composed of stars with a median age of around 300,000 years, and at a distance of 1400 light years, is one of the nearest star-forming regions to Earth. The Chandra X-ray Observatory identified X-ray emission from individual stars in the Trapezium for the first time and found that almost all of their upper atmospheres, or coronas, are much hotter than expected. Chandra also detected several stars that are still surrounded by protoplanetary disks, for example the blue object on the lower left.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory