Orion Nebula Cluster

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Chandra X-ray
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Orion Nebula Cluster: Cluster of young stars in the Orion Nebula.
(Credit: NASA/CfA/S.Murray et al.)

Caption: These Chandra images show the central region of the Orion Nebula, one of the closest star-forming regions to Earth. Assembled into a time-lapse movie, these observations show that, over the course of mere hours, many of the 700 objects in the field appear to "shimmer" or vary, in X-ray intensity. This flaring behavior appears to be a common characteristic of young stars. Since the Sun formed in a similar region long ago, this discovery may help us better understand how our solar system formed.

Scale: Image is 30 arcmin top to bottom.

Chandra X-ray Observatory HRC /ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory