LOOK: NASA Reveals Incredible Image of Interstellar Dust Cloud You Can See From Earth

by Emily Morgan

NASA has released a new, breathtaking image of the Orion Nebula, and you don’t need any fancy equipment to view it. In fact, you can see it with the naked eye.

Last week, the US space agency revealed the image to the world via its Instagram page. The pic, taken by the Hubble telescope, shows a jaw-dropping snapshot of a region within the Orion Nebula.

Orion is located about 1,300 light-years away. However, it’s close enough to Earth to see it with just your eyes. However, the star of the interstellar snapshot is a luminous subject referred to as the “Herbig-Haro.”

“Herbig-Haro objects form when stellar winds or jets of gas spew from newborn stars,” the space organization said in a statement. According to NASA, this phenomenon creates shockwaves that collide with nearby gas and dust at rapid speeds. You can see this unfold in the image as this “intense” ultraviolet radiation can be seen surrounding the object.

The radiation results from three bright, young stars known as Alnitak, Saif, and Rigel, which float nearby Orion. As these stars get older, they begin to form a thick cloud of interstellar dust and gas, according to Science Alert.

Thanks to Hubble, the agency said officials at NASA can observe these high-energy outflows in ultraviolet light to study their inner workings.

In addition, this snap was also part of a “spellbinding Hubble mosaic of the Orion Nebula, which combined 520 ACS images in five different colors to create the sharpest view ever taken of the region,” the space agency said.

NASA’s Hubble Telescope once again delivers mind-bending pic

The Orion Nebula is the nearest star-forming region to our planet and one of Nasa’s favorite regions to photograph. Moreso, the nebula is also one of the brightest, making it easier for the human eye to spot without the assistance of a telescope.

Since its creation, the Hubble telescope has captured several images of Orion, and the telescope caught this latest one using its Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS).

NASA also said scientists studied the outflows and protoplanetary disks when Hubble captured the image.

The US space agency first launched the telescope on April 24, 1990. Named after astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, the telescope currently floats about 340 miles above Earth.

It’s also one of Nasa’s four observatories, including the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

However, it’s because of Hubble that humankind has been able to make multiple scientific observations that have enhanced our understanding of outer space.

And while the telescope’s list of achievements seems never-ending, some of its most astounding accomplishments include helping scientists determine the universe’s age and observing how fast it’s expanding.