Alnitak, the easternmost (left) of the belt stars is seen next to the more diffuse glow of the Flame Nebula and the dark notch of the famous Horsehead. Easily visible to the naked-eye The Great Nebula of Orion is below the belt stars. A mere 1,500 light-years distant, it is the closest large stellar nursery to our fair planet. Best seen in photographs, the broad and faint arc of Barnard's Loop seems to embrace Orion's brighter stars and nebulae though. In the northern spring the familiar northern winter constellation is setting. Near the western horizon toward lower right Orion's apparently bright blue supergiant Rigel just touches the branches of a pine tree.
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& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Orion
Publications with words: Orion