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2011: This three-panel comparison of the Orion Nebula (Messier 42, M42) region is composed of a visible light image from the Hubble Space Telescope, a near-infrared image captured by the European Southern Observatory in Chile, and a mid-infrared mosaic image taken by SOFIA's Faint Object InfraRed Camera for the SOFIA Tele­scope, or FORCAST. The FORCAST instrument was developed by principal investigator Terry Herter and his team from Cornell University and Ithaca College (both located in Ithaca, N.Y.). M42 is a star-forming region located 1,500 light years from Earth that is visible to the naked eye as a fuzzy patch in Orion's "sword." Within that patch of the sky are three areas of significance: The Trapezium Stars, the Orion "Bright Bar," and the Becklin­Neugebauer/Kleinmann-Low (BNKL) region.

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