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History Of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) (1995-02-01)

The nearby intense star-forming region known as the Great Nebula in the Orion constellation reveals a bow shock around a very young star as seen by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Named for the crescent-shaped wave made by a ship as it moves through the water, a bow shock can be created in space where two streams of gas collide. LL Ori emits a vigorous solar wind, a stream of charged particles moving rapidly outward from the star. Our own sun has a less energetic version of this wind. The material in the fast wind from LL Ori collides with slow moving gas evaporating away form the center of the Orion Nebula, which is located in the lower right of this image, producing the crescent shaped bow shock seen in the image. Astronomers have identified numerous shock fronts in this complex star-forming region and are using this data to understand the many complex phenomena associated with the birth of stars. A close visitor in our Milky Way Galaxy, the nebula is only 1,500 light years away from Earth. The filters used in this color composite represent oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen emissions.