Monday, 30 November 2020

Astrognome 100 Great Stars No 87 Theta 1 Orionis

 

Theta 1 Orionis

Centred in Orion’s Sword around 1400 light years away, the Orion Nebula, a classic diffuse nebula 20 light years across, the nebula is also known as M42. This is a stellar nursery where stars are being created. It is energised by a quartet of stars that is collectively called Theta 1 Orionis or the Trapezium. These hot O and B class stars were created only a few 100 thousand years old.



The Trapezium stars are lettered from west to east A, B, C, and D. As a unit they generate 250,000 solar luminosities and are at the pinnacle of one of the densest star clusters, the Orion Molecular Cloud in the Milky Way.


The hottest of the 4 stars is Theta 1 C with a spectral class of O6 and a surface temperature of around 40,000 degrees and is the hottest star that can be seen with the naked eye. Although the quartet is so close that optical aid is required to see all 4 stars. Theta 1 is bound to become a supernova in the future as will many of the other stars in this nebula.








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