The Universe – Nebulas

On February 10, 2010 the European Southern Observatory released this spectacular photograph (shown above) of the Orion Nebula that reveals many of its hidden secrets in a dramatic image taken by ESO’s new VISTA survey telescope. The Orion Nebula is one of the most active star formation regions in the Milky Way Galaxy.


The telescope’s huge field of view can show the full splendour of the whole nebula and VISTA’s infrared vision also allows it to peer deeply into dusty regions that are normally hidden and expose the curious behaviour of the very active young stars buried there.

Today on Discovery Enterprise we are going to take a grand tour through the Art Gallery of the Galaxy and view what are considered the crown jewels of the heavens. Nebulas are mysterious clouds of gas that are not classified as stars, planets, moons or asteroids. Astronomers use the most sophisticated techniques to view them, as they are practically invisible to the naked eye. Nothing less than stunning – nebulas glow, reflect or obscure the galaxy’s light with amazing swirls of colour. Nebulas are the regions where stars and planets are born. And, where stars die.

The Universe – Nebulas

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