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More Than a Pretty Face: A New Look at the Orion Nebula

The Orion nebula
ESA, Igor Chekalin

You may think you've seen and heard everything that's to be seen and heard about Orion, one of the most familiar celestial bodies studied by astronomers. But this incredible new image, courtesy of the European Space Organization's telescope in Chile, is offering new clues about the dust and gas swirling around in what essentially is a giant incubator for new massive starts.

By the way, this image finished first in an international competition in which amateur astronomers got a chance to pore through ESO's archives of astronomical data. You can check out other images taken by Russia's Igor Chekalin, who worked up this image, by clicking here.