Pic of the Week: The Hunter’s Sword

Image (Credit): The Orion Nebula. (NASA / ESA / JPL-Caltech)

This week’s image is from NASA’s now retired Spitzer Space Telescope as well as the agency’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), now called NEOWISE. Here is a little more from the Sci.News story:

Also known as NGC 1976, Messier 42 (M42), LBN 974, or Sharpless 281, the Orion Nebula is a diffuse nebula in the constellation of Orion. It spans about 24 light-years and is located approximately 1,630 light-years away from Earth. It can be seen with the naked eye as a fuzzy patch surrounding the star Theta Orionis in the Hunter’s Sword, below Orion’s belt. At only 2 million years old, the Orion Nebula is an ideal laboratory for studying young stars and stars that are still forming. It offers a glimpse of what might have happened when the Sun was born 4.6 billion years ago.