Menu Bar

Home           Calendar           Topics          Just Charlestown          About Us
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Astronomy Picture of the Day

At the Heart of Orion 

Near the center of this sharp cosmic portrait, at the heart of the Orion Nebula, are four hot, massive stars known as the Trapezium.

Tightly gathered within a region about 1.5 light-years in radius, they dominate the core of the dense Orion Nebula Star Cluster.

Ultraviolet ionizing radiation from the Trapezium stars, mostly from the brightest star Theta-1 Orionis C powers the complex star forming region's entire visible glow.

About three million years old, the Orion Nebula Cluster was even more compact in its younger years and a dynamical study indicates that runaway stellar collisions at an earlier age may have formed a black hole with more than 100 times the mass of the Sun.

The presence of a black hole within the cluster could explain the observed high velocities of the Trapezium stars. The Orion Nebula's distance of some 1,500 light-years would make it the closest known black hole to planet Earth.




See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Image Credit & Copyright: László Francsics