SciFi Q of the Day: Orion Nebula

By Steve Black from Las Vegas, NV, USA (Different Slant on Orion)

SciFi Question of the Day: If space is mostly vacuum, what is all the “stuff” we see in this image of the Orion Nebula?

.Facebook Answers:


  Keith Marshall   Nebulian Stuff.

  Kyle Chisholm   The world’s hopes, dreams, and failures!

  Geri Bressler   Space snot

  Kyle Chisholm   LOL Space snot! It came out of the nose of the ship from Space Balls!

  Geri Bressler   See, you think it’s stuff, but it-snot

  Al Hartman   God likes to finger paint…

  Robert Damian Mauro   The death of a star (or in this case, if memory serves, more than one). IIRC, largely stellar components in gaseous and solid form, all being illuminated from the star remnants that remain after nova.

  Robert Damian Mauro   No… perhaps the Orion Nebula is a birthplace of stars… I can’t remember. Nebulas are *generally* either one or the other though, if memory serves. Some are potentially caused by other events.

  Stephen Dillard   From the violent (and beautiful) death of a star comes the creation of every element that makes our life possible. The endless recycling of all things that exist. Awe inspiring.

  Dave Mac   I just checked the vacuum and wouldn’t you know it, lots of that stuff in there as well. Vacuums must suck up Stuff every where in the Universe.

  Elizabeth Sykas-Ringgenberg   I think it’s the socks that have gone missing in the wash…

  Juno Suk   That’s not space. It’s just the swirlies printed on my bowling ball.

  Dave Mac   socks are made of “star-stuff”

  AmyBeth Fredricksen   Yeah, but are socks made of swirly stuff? Because the sock-related stuff that ends up in my vacuum is more lint-like and fluffy.

  Dave Mac   Yep, and those socks with the little sticky dots on the bottom are made out of tachyons

  Dan Bressler   Stick-in-the-mud answer: It’s mostly vacuum. What is there is a very diffuse gas, which only counts as “stuff” in comparison to the emptiness around it. The colors are computer-generated because the radiation given out is mostly in the infrared spectrum.

  Dave Mac   Also Dan, the vacuum of space is kind of a human perspective. Earth pressuse at sea level is 14.7 psi., Most of the universe/space (that we know of) it at “zero” and we are a high pressure zone.

  Daniel Beard   always remember that “Vacuum” is full of all sorts of things, mono-atomic hydrogen and helium, dust of all sizes from microns to actual millimeters. it is just that we have issues with the fact that we sort of are addicted to a specific amount of oxygen/nitrogen mixture. and we really do not like the withdrawal symptoms.

Google Plus Answers:

Rodolphe D'Inca's profile photo  Rodolphe D’Inca  –  whis is it a scifi question? it is a science question! 🙂 What we see is radiation, it doesn’t mean a high density of matter to produce it and ctully the picture is taken on a very loclized part of the universe!

michael interbartolo's profile photo  michael interbartolo  –  gases coallescing due to gravity and intense pressure.

AmyBeth Inverness's profile photo  AmyBeth Inverness  –  It’s a SciFi question because you can either give me the real, scientific explanation (Which I really was curious about, and I knew that +michael interbartolo would instantly give me a great answer thank you very much!) Or, you can act like my facebook friends are currently and give a totally smart-ass answer like “Space Snot”.
Jeffrey Witthauer's profile photo  Jeffrey Witthauer  –  Space snot? No. This is the living embodiment of the Aether. Deep within the Orion nebulae are many starfaring races, but not as we know them. They pilot the winds of the Aether, sailing in their great Star Ships across the vast gulf.
(One of these days I’ll find a decent artist and finally produce that epic graphic novel about it. It’s been in my head for years now…)
Anna L. Walls's profile photo  Anna L. Walls  –  It is the gods at war, of course. It’s how our universe was created. hahaha Sure looks like it anyway
Rodolphe D'Inca's profile photo  Rodolphe D’Inca  –  OK now with these examples, I better understand the meaning of your post! 🙂
Jeffrey Witthauer's profile photo  Jeffrey Witthauer  –  +Anna L. Walls Actually it kind of is how our universe was created, seeing that nebulae are really star nurseries 🙂
Anna L. Walls's profile photo  Anna L. Walls  –  Yeah, I know. I just love pictures of this nebula. They are so pretty.
Anna L. Walls's profile photo  Anna L. Walls  –  near the middle it looks like a fist. to the right in purple looks like a face – sorta. and above center kinda looks like some sort of mask. fascinating.
AmyBeth Inverness's profile photo  AmyBeth Inverness  –  If a human was standing (Like on a starship) at exactly the right place, would it still look like this to the naked eye?
Rogers George's profile photo  Rogers George  –  I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t. It would look grey. Two reasons, at least:
1. These babies are very faint; too faint for our human color receptors to pick up.
2. The Hubble takes pictures (long time exposures, which has the effect of making things brighter) thru filters so the astronomers can tell what’s coming in at what frequencies. Then they can assign colors to the frequencies using imaging software. They can assign the actual visible colors of the frequencies, but you get more spectacular pictures if you assign visible colors to the IR and UV, too.
AmyBeth Inverness's profile photo  AmyBeth Inverness  –  Thanks! I always wonder that when I look at these fantastically beautiful images from space.

I would love to hear what you think! Even if you are reading this post a year or more after publishing, I hope you will leave a comment with your own ideas on this topic.

The previous SciFi Q of the Day is Waltzing Into Mordor

The shortlink for this post is

The next SciFi Q of the Day is Lunar Athletics

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
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3 Responses to SciFi Q of the Day: Orion Nebula

  1. Pingback: SciFi Q of the Day: Lunar Athletics | AmyBeth Inverness

  2. Pingback: SciFi Q of the Day: Waltzing into Mordor | AmyBeth Inverness

  3. Robert says:

    Cool, look at the dragon swooping down in the middle and all the skulls and faces and monsters and stuff. Looks like abstract art of God on a canvas light years across. I wonder what is being said here.

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