We're used to seeing spectacular Hubble Space Telescope images of ethereal nebulae. Now we have the chance to fly through the heart of one of the Milky Way's most scenic creations, the Orion Nebula. A Hubble video released Thursday takes a dramatic 3D dive through the nebula's glowing array of gas and dust.
The visualization comes from NASA's Universe of Learning program, which provides educational resources to students and others interested in the space agency's astrophysics research. The team combined observations from both Hubble and the Spitzer Space Telescope to create the experience of floating through the nebula. The video switches between visible and infrared views.
"Being able to fly through the nebula's tapestry in three dimensions gives people a much better sense of what the universe is really like," said Space Telescope Science Institute visualization scientist Frank Summers.
The Orion Nebula is an area of active star formation, and people on Earth can spot it by looking for the middle star-like bright spot in the sword held by the Orion constellation.
The immersive video is an experience to be savored. You'll feel like you're piloting a spaceship, so turn down the lights and enjoy your stay.