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A telescope in the back of a modified 747 jet has snapped images of the Orion Nebula at a colour of light no other observatory in the world can see.
The Orion nebula is an important star-forming region
They are the first results from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia), designed to capture colours blocked by Earth's atmosphere.
The images show the star-forming region in unprecedented clarity.
Further study could yield insight into stars that are just lighting up, one of astronomy's "holy grails".
The results were presented at the American Astronomical Society's annual meeting in Seattle, US.
The airborne observatory can view light in the deep infrared
"The real unique thing is that you have a platform you can change out instruments on," said Terry Herter, an astronomer at the University of Cornell, and lead scientist on Sofia's first science mission known as Forcast (Faint Object Infrared Camera for the Sofia Telescope).
"But right out of the box, without most of the motion compensation equipment turned on, we were getting image qualities that were pretty close to the best you can get for a telescope of that size."
Originally posted by DonnaLynn
So beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!
Originally posted by OneLife
Did NASA make use of the perfect timing to help spread them chemtrails? I kid.. Interesting pics nonetheless