The Mountains Of Orion

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Behold: the fantastic star-formation region near the edge of NGC 2174, aka The Monkey’s Head Nebula in the constellation of Orion, about 6,400 light-years away. To wit:

It follows mountainous clouds of gas and dust carved by winds and radiation from the region’s newborn stars, now found scattered in open star clusters embedded around the center of NGC 2174, off the top of the frame. Though star formation continues within these dusty cosmic clouds they will likely be dispersed by the energetic newborn stars within a few million years. Recorded at infrared wavelengths by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2014, the interstellar scene spans about 6 light-years. Scheduled for launch in 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope is optimized for exploring the Universe at infrared wavelengths.

(Image : NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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