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New picture reveals fiery ribbon hidden behind Orion

A dramatic new image of cosmic clouds in the constellation of Orion has revealed what seems to be a fiery ribbon in the sky.

An extreme close-up of the ribbon behind Orion. Credit: ESO-operated Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX)

The orange glow represents faint light coming from grains of cold interstellar dust, at wavelengths too long for human eyes to see. It was observed by the ESO-operated Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) in Chile using a different wavelength.

The ribbon (which cannot be seen in this picture) is in the bottom half of the Orion constellation. Credit: ESO-operated Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX)

The new picture shows just a part of a bigger complex called the Orion Molecular Cloud, in the constellation of Orion.

A rich melting pot of bright nebulae, hot young stars and cold dust clouds, this region is hundreds of light-years across and located about 1350 light-years from us.

Orion can be seen on the far right of this shot, near the red ring. Credit: ESO-operated Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX)