NASA scientists and computer visualization experts at the Space Telescope Science Institute and at the Caltech/Infrared Processing and Analysis Center created a 3D video simulation of the famous and spectacular Orion Nebula. The video materializes using images taken by the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.
The Orion Nebula is a diffuse young nebula, which is an interstellar massive cloud of dust and gas such as hydrogen, helium, and other ionized gases about 1,300 light years from the planet Earth. It is located in the constellation Orion. This nebula provides scientists understanding as to how stars and planetary systems are formed.
The Orion Nebula comprises the Trapezium star cluster, which is the group of massive stars that gives illumination to the nebula. This star cluster involves a bowl-shaped valley carved out by extreme ultraviolet radiation and winds from new stars in the center of the nebula, according to Space.
In the video, the Hubble space telescope seized the light including the longer and shorter wavelengths in the ultraviolet and near-infrared ranges in the area that could be viewed by humans. This includes capturing the very hot regions and objects. Meanwhile, the Spitzer space telescope captured the light in the mid-infrared to the far-infrared range that seized the objects and structures in lower temperature or cooler regions.
Frank Summers, a visualization scientist from the Space Telescope Science Institute, said that by adding depth and structure to the spectacular images, this fly through helps elucidate the universe for the public, both educating and inspiring. The scientists would like to give the viewer an experiential understanding of the nebula. Summers further said that it is a really wonderful thing when they can develop a mental model in their head to transform the two-dimensional image to a three-dimensional scene, as noted by Science Alert.
Watch the 3D video below as it takes you to the fascinating and beautiful heart of the Orion Nebula. Be amazed at how this video materializes through the creation of NASA scientists and other experts. This visualization could provide insights and content for people who explore basic questions in science to discover the universe for themselves.