The innermost part of the Orion Nebula M42 taken in a filter emphasizing H-alpha emission. This shows the intricate structure of the nebula as revealed by gas. The four bright stars constitute the Trapezium; most of the ionizing radiation for this part of the nebula comes from the hottest of these stars.
The same region of the Orion Nebula, now in a filter that passes essentially pure continuum radiation. Fainter members of the associated star cluster can be seen now free of the strong emission seen at H-alpha; much of the nebular structure seen in this filter is from starlight scattered by dust grains. Both Orion images were taken with a Loral CCD at the Lowell Observatory 1.1m telescope.
Credit: Bill Keel, University of Alabama; taken from his image collection.
Last Modification: 7 Jul 1999, 0:25 MET