Like others of its kind, the Orion Nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen and helium gas, and plasma. After some time, the components that make up the nebula may come together due to their gravitational attraction. As layer upon layer of dust, gas and plasma are drawn together, those at the core will experience extreme pressure.
... Light travels 186,000 miles per second ... 31,577,600 seconds per year x 24 years ( so there are 757,382,400 seconds in 24 years ) therefore the Orion Nebula is 757,382,400 x 186,000 miles across ... mind blowing ...
click here or on the pic of Orion to get more info
Betelgeuse is a star nearing the end of its life. Because it is creating heavier and heavier elements in its core that could be used for stars after it dies, a NASA story once dubbed the red giant a workaholic.
The star is a famous one among amateur astronomers not only for its size and brightness, but also because it is part of Orion, a bright winter constellation in the Northern Hemisphere.
Professional astronomers also keep a close eye on the star, as it is notoriously variable: its diameter changes from anywhere between 550 to 920 times the sun's diameter. In 2013, astronomers said Betelgeuse is likely to crash into a "cosmic wall" of interstellar dust in a few thousand years.
The star's location is:
- Right ascension: 05 hours 55 minutes 10.3 seconds
- Declination: +07 degrees 24 minutes 25 seconds
It is probable that the name "Betelgeuse" originated in Arabic words, but the star had other names (for example) in Sanskrit, traditional Chinese and even in Hawaiian; in the latter, it was known as Kauluakoko.
The coming supernova
Betelgeuse is so vast — its size would extend beyond Jupiter's orbit if it were placed in the sun's position in the solar system — that several telescopes have captured images of the star and spotted it shedding mass. Starting in 1993 and continuing for at least 15 years, its radius shrank by 15 percent, an astonishing amount for so short a time.
"We do not know why the star is shrinking," said Edward Wishnow, a research physicist at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, in 2009.
"Considering all that we know about galaxies and the distant universe, there are still lots of things we don't know about stars, including what happens as red giants near the ends of their lives."
Nearing the wall ( WaLL-E=mc3>8 haHaHA )
As the star prepares for what could be a large explosion, another challenge awaits: it is expected to crash into a wall of interstellar dust in the next few thousand years.
An infrared Herschel Space Observatory image released in 2013 suggested it would crash into the dust at a speed of 66,960 miles per hour (107,761 kilometers per hour.)
The crash would take a while to complete: the solar wind is expected to touch the line around 5,000 years from now, with the heart of the star crashing into the bar 12,500 years after that.