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Stars and stellar evolution
Orion Nebula

Orion Nebula, M42, NGC 1976


An emission nebula in which stars are forming


The stars in the nebula are about 1 million years old.


Found in the sword of the constellation Orion

Distance from Earth

1,500 light-years


The nebula's diameter is 14 light-years across.

Stars are being born in the turbulent gas of the Orion Nebula.

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"Fast Facts: Orion Nebula" is a table that lists the name, description, location, size, and distance of the nebula from Earth. A picture of the nebula is included.

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Adaptable, at teacher's discretion
How to use in the classroom

Use this resource as:

A source of information. Read the table to find out about this object.

A mapping activity. Locate the nebula's associated constellation on a star map.

A large-number recognition activity. Have students look at several Fast Fact tables, including this one. Ask them to place the objects described in the Fast Fact tables in order, starting with the object closest to Earth and ending with the one farthest away.

A compare/contrast activity. Have students review several Fast Facts tables for nebulae. Students can create graphic organizers comparing emission nebulae and planetary nebulae.

An inquiry tool. Have students write down questions they would like answered about the image and the information in the Fast Facts table.

An engagement tool. Involve students in a discussion.


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