Space!: Video Visualization Of A Faster-Than-The-Speed-Of-Light Journey Through The Orion Nebula

January 12, 2018


This is a video created by NASA using actual visible-light observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and infrared-light observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope and combining them along with some CGI to create a beautiful faster-than-the-speed-of-light fly through the Orion Nebula. In the creators' own words while I stow a couple packages of astronaut ice cream in my anus, put on my space helmet and prepare for liftoff:

This visualization explores the Orion Nebula using both visible and infrared light. The sequence begins with a wide-field view of the sky showing the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, then zooms down to the scale of the Orion Nebula.

As the camera flies into the star-forming region, the sequence cross-fades back and forth between the visible and infrared views. The glowing gaseous landscape has been illuminated and carved by the high-energy radiation and strong stellar winds from the massive hot stars in the central cluster. The infrared observations generally show cooler temperature gas at a deeper layer of the nebula that extends well beyond the visible image. In addition, the infrared showcases many faint stars that shine primarily at longer wavelengths. The higher resolution visible observations show finer details including the wispy bow shocks and tadpole-shaped proplyds. In this manner, the movie illustrates the contrasting features uncovered by multi-wavelength astronomy.

Beautiful, right? Space is so mind-blowing. The only thing that could have made this video better is if instead of being a video-- "You were watching it from the window of an actual passing spaceship." Okay, you're my best friend, I get it. Let's do brunch on Saturday. "Bottomless?" And topless.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks to Marion O, who agrees space would be even awesomer if everything wasn't so spread out.

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