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In the night sky: Orion
In the night sky: Orion

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Week 2: Travelling from star birth to star death

Introduction

Last week, you looked at the constellation of Orion, and named its brightest stars. At the start of Week 2, you’ll dive straight in and find out what a star actually is, how they form and their lifecycle, then travel more deeply into Orion and study those stars.

The following video, which has no sound, zooms into the Orion Nebula, moving from images of the whole Orion constellation in the night sky, to pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of the Orion Nebula, showing its swirling clouds of gas and dust. Embedded within the clouds are newly forming stars and planets, as well as older stars and the remains of dead and dying stars.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_orion_vid_1065.mp4
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Before you learn about different types of stars, it is a good idea to learn a bit more about our own star – which is what you will do next.