Friday, 26 February, 2021


Fly Through Sparkling Orion Nebula in a New 3-D Visualization

STSCI           Orion Nebula STSCI Orion Nebula
Kristine Garrett | 13 January, 2018, 11:28

The creators of the video said in the statement that they hope the visualization will give viewers a better idea of the 3D structure of the star-forming region.

A video released by NASA this week shows the well-known Orion Nebula in a new way.

"Being able to fly through the nebula's tapestry in three dimensions gives people a much better sense of what the universe is really like", says visualisation scientist Frank Summers, who led the team that developed the movie. The 3D fly-through also helps in elucidating the universe for the public by adding structure and depth to the lovely images, all of which makes for an inspiring and educating experience. Robert Hurt, lead visualization scientist at IPAC, explained that visualizing the universe in infrared light consisting of multiple wavelengths gives a striking context to the visible light views, which everyone is familiar with. The stellar nursery is visible from Earth as a tiny "star" in the sword of the constellation Orion, the Hunter, but now, Nasa is giving us a chance to see its complex and dynamic features and that too in 3D.

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.

To create the video, that scientific data was paired with "Hollywood techniques", the team said, such as running special code to combine "the tens of millions of semi-transparent elements of the gas". The nebula's other components were isolated into layers of image and modeled separately. For example, the Trapezium star cluster in the heart of the nebula includes a bowl-shaped valley carved out by intense ultraviolet radiation and "winds" from new stars. The gaseous nebula and the layers were combined together after being rendered to create the visualization. NASA has prepared an fantastic 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. A nebula is an interstellar cloud of ionized gases, helium, hydrogen, and dust.

Located 1,350 light-years away, the Orion Nebula is a relatively nearby laboratory for studying the star formation process across a wide range, from opulent giant stars to diminutive red dwarf stars and elusive, faint brown dwarfs. Astronomers find the Orion Nebula the ideal laboratory for observing stars that are young or are still forming, which also gives a glimpse into what might have taken place during the birth of the sun 4.6 billion years ago.

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