The Orion Nebula: Visible and Infrared Views

  • Released Monday, May 28, 2018

This sequence uses infrared (Spitzer) and visible (Hubble) images to reveal the formation of stars within a large cloud of hydrogen gas and dust. The warm gas lights up in the infrared view as red, and the hydrocarbon dust appears in green. The starlight from young stars appears in blue. The flood of starlight provides extra illumination throughout the dusty environment and in front of the cloud. The threads of gas, reminiscent of clouds on Earth, are compressed and pushed into knots by the winds from forming stars throughout the region. The clouds appear as shadows in this visible-light view. However, in areas where the gas has mostly been cleared or thinned, glowing cavities can be seen inside these cocoons. The combined view hints at the nebula’s complex three-dimensional structure.


Please give credit for this item to:

Video: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
Optical image: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (STScI/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team (STScI)
Infrared image: NASA/Spitzer/JPL-Caltech

Release date

This page was originally published on Monday, May 28, 2018.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 12:40 AM EST.


This visualization is related to the following missions:

Datasets used in this visualization

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