The National Mall in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Where are stars born? Stars form in a large, dense region of hydrogen and helium gas and dust called a nebula (Latin for "cloud"). When a nearby cosmic collision or pressure from a supernova causes a nebula to collapse it divides into many clumps. Gravity contracts these clumps into stars.
The Orion Nebula, 1,500 light-years away, is the nearest bright star nursery to Earth. It contains more than 3,000 stars, some of which are among the youngest and brightest known.
Inside the Observatory
During some evening observatory hours, you can view the young stars and the gas and dust clouds of the Orion Nebula.
This image of the Orion Nebula was taken at the Public Observatory on January 5, 2015. It was taken with an 11-inch Celestron telescope and a filter that helps block light pollution.
Viewing Our Universe:
Hubble Space Telescope
Named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, the Hubble Telescope is famous for taking extremely clear images. Its position in Earth orbit means that its images and spectra are not blurred by Earth's atmosphere. Since its launch in 1990,
Hubble is powerful enough to resolve these tiny specks within the Orion Nebula. Each is a newborn solar system, a star and its planets forming while still shrouded by a thick disk of gas and dust.
NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (STScI/ESA), the HST Orion Treasury Project Team, and L. Ricci (ESO).
←This iconid image of the Orion Nebula was created by combining 520 Hubble images from 2004 and 2005 with some ground-based images.
NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team
How to Learn More:
Erected by National Air and Space Museum.
Location. 38° 53.276′ N, 77° 1.111′ W. Marker is in The National Mall, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker can be reached from Independence Avenue Southwest west of 4th Street SW, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. On the grounds of the National Air and Space Museum on the side of the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20024, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Binary Stars (here, next to this marker); Saturn (here, next to this marker); Cook Telescope (here, next to this marker); Phoebe Waterman Haas (here, next to this marker); Venus (here, next to this marker); Moon (here, next to this marker); Sun (here, next to this marker); Jupiter (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The National Mall.
Categories. • Air & Space •
Credits. This page was last revised on December 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 12, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 72 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 12, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.