Dec 2

Space Dad, Where Do Baby Stars Come From?

Kids, I present my latest (and so far greatest) images of the Orion Nebula, Messier 42.  This is what astronomers call a star nursery because it’s literally where baby stars come from.  See, when a mommy star and a daddy star love each other very much…

In other words, it’s a region of deep space with no observable boundaries that contains all the right elements to create new stars.  Cool, huh?  Here’s what wikipedia has to say about the star-forming nature of the Orion Nebula:

“Stars form when clumps of hydrogen and other gases in an H II region contract under their own gravity. As the gas collapses, the central clump grows stronger and the gas heats to extreme temperatures by converting gravitational potential energy to thermal energy. If the temperature gets high enough, nuclear fusion will ignite and form a protostar. The protostar is ‘born’ when it begins to emit enough radiative energy to balance out its gravity and halt gravitational collapse.”

Say that five times really fast.  Basically, when Hydrogen and another gas love each other very much, they get married and make new stars.

When you look at the constellation Orion, find the row of three stars that make up his belt.  If you connect those “dots” then look just below you’ll see another linear arrangement of three stars positioned vertically.  If you’ve been paying attention you’ll remember this is the hunter’s sheath.  Anywho, just below the middle star is where this beautiful star-forming nebula can be found.  Here in Mobile, AL, we’re rather plagued by light pollution, unfortunately.  That makes this deep space object just about impossible for us to see with the naked eye.  But viewing through a 6″ telescope, you’ll be treated with views even more awe-inspiring than the images below.  Remember, it’s always way cooler in person!

The following images were taken with my iPhone 11 Pro Max (NightCap Camera app) on a cell phone adaptor hooked up to a 25mm plossl eyepiece and connected to my 6″ Orion Newtonian reflector telescope.  Imagine how these images will look when my 8″ telescope is returned!


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