This near-infrared image shows supersonic 'bullets' of gas and the wakes created as they pierce through clouds of molecular hydrogen in the Orion Nebula. The bullets are speeding outward from the cloud at up to 400 kilometers (250 miles) per second. This is more than a thousand times faster than the speed of sound. This image is a mosaic of three pointings with the GeMS multi-conjugate adaptive optics (AO) technology that corrects in real time for image distortions caused by Earth's atmosphere. Previous images of this region were obtained with GeMS at Gemini South and the Gemini Altair AO system at Gemini North. Both of these images can also be found on this gallery.
International Gemini Observatory, J. Bally and A. Ginsberg (University of Colorado) and T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage)