• Orion Nebula acrylic print (VST)

Orion Nebula (VST)

From: £110.00

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Captured by the wide-field optical camera on ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST), the spectacular Orion Nebula and its associated cluster of young stars (about 1 million years old) is one of our closest stellar nurseries residing in the constellation Orion at a distance of about 1,350 lightyears. (One lightyear is the distance light travels in a single year; about 6 trillion miles).

Discovered in 1610 by French astronomer Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc using the newly invented refracting telescope, the Great Orion Nebula or Orion Nebula is a showpiece deep sky object and is actually the most easily detectable naked-eye nebula in the entire night sky. The constellation is filled with bright stars, including first magnitude (see footnote) Rigel and Betelgeuse (the second brightest star in Orion) plus a further five second magnitude stars. Three of the second magnitude stars form the famous belt of Orion.

One of the most popular stellar targets for amateur astronomers because of its constant evolution, and the new things you can observe every time you look at it – stellar siblings are dominated by a few very massive, extremely bright stars called the Trapezium Cluster which is made up of just a few stars – however it outshines all the rest of them combined. Astronomers believe that the majority of the radiance from the gas in the nebula comes from light from the stars of this Trapezium. Possibly in a few hundred million years or so, there could be planets like our own Earth forming around some of the new stars in the cluster.

I find this image not only fascinating in terms of its sheer beauty, but I‘ve become captivated by the number of images and ‘faces’ I can make out – look for them, they are there. Look deeply and be prepared for a surprise!

Footnote: First magnitude stars are the brightest stars in the night sky. In the 1st century BC, Hipparchos introduced the magnitude scale by allocating first magnitude to the 20 brightest stars and the sixth magnitude to the faintest stars visible to the naked eye.

Pigment inks on 271gsm satin paper, professionally hand-bonded onto a 5mm cast acrylic panel. Currently available in four sizes:

  • 48″ (w) × 30″ (h)
  • 36″ (w) × 22.5″ (h)
  • 24″ (w) × 15″ (h)
  • 12″ (w) × 7.5″ (h)

Each acrylic print comes ready to hang.

FREE delivery.

Credit: ESO/G. Beccari