Orion molecular cloud
abr-e molekuli-ye Šekârgar, ~ ~ Orion
Fr.: nuage moléculaire d'Orion
A giant cloud, or complex of clouds, of interstellar gas and dust associated with the Orion nebula (M42). It is about 1,500 light-years away and measures about 240 light-years across. Besides M42 and M43 it contains a number of famous objects, including Barnard's Loop, the Horsehead Nebula, and the reflection nebulae around M78. Within this cloud, stars have formed recently, and are still in the process of formation.