Closer Than Thought
The widely photographed and heavily studied Orion Nebula is nearly 300 light-years closer to Earth than previously thought, according to a new study.
The finding, detailed in the Oct. 10 issue of Astrophysical Journal, also hikes up the age of the nebula's stellar inhabitants. "These stars are nearly twice as old as previously thought," said study team member Geoff Bower, an astronomer at the
The new measurements were made using the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). The scientists determined the distance to a star called GMR A, one of a cluster of stars in the Orion Nebula, by measuring the slight shift in the star's apparent position while the Earth was on opposite sides of its annual orbit around the sun.