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Peeling Back Orion's Layers

Astronomers unveil a portrait of star formation

Somewhere in the universe, in the dim recesses of a vast cloud of gas and dust, wisps of material are slowly coalescing onto a clump that has been growing for hundreds of thousands of years. Squeezed by gravity, hydrogen atoms deep within the clump suddenly fuse, igniting a fiery glow. A star is born.

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