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Space Pictures / The Orion Nebula (Update)

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Title: The Orion Nebula, M42

Source: U.S. Naval Observatory

Information: M42, the Orion Nebula, is visible to observers with binoculars in the middle of the region known as the sword of Orion. This nebula is like a gigantic womb, where new stars are born. The gas in the nebula is illuminated by the light of new solar systems. Recently, scientists have discovered dust rings surrounding many of the young suns--dust that will eventually form into planets. The stars in M42 are only about a million years old, in contrast to our solar system, which is several billion years old.