Astronomy Picture of the Day
    


The Orion Bullets
<< Yesterday 3.03.2019 Tomorrow >>
The Orion Bullets
Credit & Copyright: GeMS/GSAOI Team, Gemini Observatory, AURA, NSF;
Processing: Rodrigo Carrasco (Gemini Obs.), Travis Rector (Univ. Alaska Anchorage)
Explanation: Why are bullets of gas shooting out of the Orion Nebula? Nobody is yet sure. First discovered in 1983, each bullet is actually about the size of our Solar System, and moving at about 400 km/sec from a central source dubbed IRc2. The age of the bullets, which can be found from their speed and distance from IRc2, is very young -- typically less than 1,000 years. As the bullets expand out the top of the Kleinmann-Low section of the Orion Nebula, a small percentage of iron gas causes the tip of each bullet to glow blue, while each bullet leaves a tubular pillar that glows by the light of heated hydrogen gas. The detailed image was created using the 8.1 meter Gemini South telescope in Chile with an adaptive optics system (GeMS). GeMS uses five laser generated guide stars to help compensate for the blurring effects of planet Earth's atmosphere.

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
 < March 2019  >
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su




123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: Orion Nebula
Publications with words: Orion Nebula
See also:
All publications on this topic >>