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Orion Nebula

center of Orion Nebula

The Back Cover: A Voyage to Orion

nimated visualizations made possible for the first time by SDSC's Galactic MPIRE volume-rendering software will be displayed in the all-new Hayden Planetarium, at the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space. The first planetarium show will feature a voyage to the Orion Nebula, 1,500 light-years away. Inset: In this Hubble Space Telescope composite image, courtesy of NASA and C.R. O'Dell and S.K. Wong of Rice University, the Orion Nebula is illuminated by the glow of excited gas atoms in interstellar space and by the blue-white light from newborn stars. Main: This view of the stars, gas, and dust clouds at the center of the nebula--two light-years across--is oneof a two-minute movie by David Nadeau, Jon Genetti, and Greg Johnson for the planetarium's Digital Galaxy project, using the Galactic MPIRE visualization package running on SDSC's Tera MTA supercomputer. Based on a 3-D model and color-corrected images by O'Dell and Zheng Wen of Rice with visual refinements by Hayden's Dennis Davidson, Carter Emmart, and Erik Wesselak, the rendered image shows the nebula from the vantage point of a starship. See story on the Galactic MPIRE: Flying through the Digital Sky. *