Hubble spots biggest population of brown dwarfs in Orion Nebula

Mindy Sparks
January 13, 2018

NASA has released a 3-D visualization of the Orion Nebula, which you should watch with the sound on (using headphones; don't be a monster) because in addition to being educational, the whole thing is incredibly soothing. Two images of the magnificent interstellar cloud were combined and touched-up to make the most detailed visualization of the Orion Nebula three-dimensional. The three-minute three video of Orion Nebula that provides an immersive experience to the viewers was released to the public on January 11, Thursday. 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 team modelled the nebula like a topography, adding in wispy gas, bow shocks, stars and protoplanetary discs, switching the view between Hubble and Spitzer data to both help viewers understand the nebula, and to understand how this sort of science works.

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.

The Orion Nebula has plenty of visible light, but the infrared technology allows you to also see the layers of the nebula that aren't as hot and bright-the light there has longer wavelengths, as opposed to the shorter ones we can detect with the naked eye.

"Hubble sees objects that glow in visible light, which are typically in the thousands of degrees".

The visualization comes from NASA's Universe of Learning program, which provides educational resources to students and others interested in the space agency's astrophysics research.

Scientific intuition and scientific knowledge guided the 3D interpretation for creating the movie.

The visualization incorporated photos taken by the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, according to NASA. "Spitzer's infrared vision pierces through obscuring dust to see stars embedded deep into the nebula, as well as fainter and less massive stars, which are brighter in the infrared than in visible light".

To give the nebula its ethereal feel, Summers wrote a special rendering code for efficiently combining the tens of millions of semi-transparent elements of the gas.

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