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December 25, 2017 - A Deep View of Orion

A Deep View of Orion  Astronomers using an infrared instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope have produced the deepest and most comprehensive view of the Orion Nebula to date. Not only has this led to an image of spectacular beauty, but it has also revealed an abundance of faint brown dwarfs and isolated planetary-mass objects. This image has caused excitement as it reveals an unexpected wealth of very low-mass objects, which in turn suggests that the Orion Nebula may be forming more of these objects than closer and less active star formation regions do. These low-mass objects will be the target of future, more powerful telescopes. The Orion Nebula spans about twenty-four light-years within the constellation of Orion and is visible from Earth with the naked eye as a fuzzy patch in Orion’s sword.

Image credit: Illustration: ESO / H. Drass et al.

Weekly Calendar

December 25 - 31, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 25

Christmas Day

1642: Isaac Newton born
2003: Mars Express and Beagle 2 arrive at Mars
2004: Huygens probe separates from Cassini spacecraft

Moon phase Tuesday 26

Boxing Day (Canada, U.K., Australia)
First Day of Kwanzaa

First Qtr Moon 4:20 AM ET

1780: Mary Somerville born

Moon phase Wednesday 27

Uranus 5° north of Moon

1571: Johannes Kepler born
1984: Meteorite ALH 84001 discovered

Moon phase Thursday 28

1882: Arthur Eddington born

Moon phase Friday 29

1980: STS-1 leaves Vehicle Assembly Building and rolls out to launch pad

Moon phase Saturday 30

Aldebaran 0.8° south of Moon

1957: Wernher von Braun proposes the Saturn-class launch vehicle

Moon phase Sunday 31

New Year's Eve

1864: Robert Aitken born
2004: Cassini makes first flyby of Iapetus

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.