Zoom Through the Famous Orion Nebula with NASA's Incredible 3D Video

A 3D journey through the Orion Nebula

NASA has prepared an awesome video of Orion Nebula which will provide viewers a unique 3-D experience of one of the brightest and most recognizable patterns of stars into the northern sky.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the largest known population of brown dwarfs sprinkled among newborn stars in the Orion Nebula, located 1,350 light-years away from the Earth. The video shows both "wispy bow shocks" (pile-ups of hot material caused by super-fast stars shooting through space, like how water appears to pile up in front of the bow of a boat) and "tadpole-shaped proplyds" (flattened disks that might one day be smoothed into round planets).

"By adding depth and structure to the unbelievable images, this fly-through helps elucidate the universe for the public, both educating and inspiring".

Orion Nebula, also called Messier 42, is one of the brightest nebulae of the Milky Way galaxy and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky.

"Looking at the universe in infrared light gives striking context for the more familiar visible-light views". But the faint jewel sparkling in the middle of Orion's sword is no ordinary stellar gem-it's a huge, blustery nebula that's furiously birthing stars. At only 2 million years old, the nebula is an ideal laboratory for studying young stars and stars that are still forming.

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By combining Hubble data with Spitzer data, the team has been able to provide a much more detailed flythrough. The Hubble space telescope captures light in the visible range seen by humans, as well as longer and shorter wavelengths in the ultraviolet and near-infrared ranges.

The two telescopes provide 2D images of cosmic objects, so the creators had to rely on both "scientific knowledge and scientific intuition" to create the 3D tour.

The result allows viewers to get a more complete idea of the nebula's atmosphere, compared to a static image from a telescope. The duo first came up with a visible-light surface, and then the infrared features' underlying structure was created. After rendering, these layers and the gaseous nebula are brought back together to create the visualization.

"The main thing is to give the viewer an experiential understanding, so that they have a way to interpret the images from telescopes", Summers said.

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