Astronomy Picture of the Day (Unofficial)

Astronomy Picture of the Day for 2021-10-06 12:30:01.784180

Astronomy Picture of the Day (Unofficial) at

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2021 October 6
The picture the part of the Orion Nebula known as M43 
in great detail including many find streams of dust.
Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

M43: Streams of Orion
Image Credit & Copyright: Jari Saukkonen

Explanation: Where do the dark streams of dust in the Orion Nebula originate? This part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, M43, is the often imaged but rarely mentioned neighbor of the more famous M42. M42, seen in part to the upper right, includes many bright stars from the Trapezium star cluster. M43 is itself a star forming region that displays intricately-laced streams of dark dust -- although it is really composed mostly of glowing hydrogen gas. The entire Orion field is located about 1600 light years away. Opaque to visible light, the picturesque dark dust is created in the outer atmosphere of massive cool stars and expelled by strong outer winds of protons and electrons.

Tomorrow's picture: open space


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