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adamginsburg t1_je20zq7 wrote

Someone had asked a question about "Don't we detect salt in the Orion Nebula with microwave radiation", then deleted it - I had already written an answer, so I'll share:

Sort of. The article OP linked is talking about NaCl detected with millimeter-wave spectroscopy in the disk around a star that is immediately behind M42 (the Orion Nebula). Since they're along the line of sight, we often say that this object (Orion Source I) is "in" the nebula, but we have pretty good evidence that it's actually behind the nebula. The nebula itself is made of ionized (very hot, ~10,000 K) gas; Source I sits in the Orion Molecular Cloud, which is much cooler (~few hundred K; still warm by molecular standards).

I'm not aware of any microwave detections of NaCl toward the Orion Nebula itself, but I have an observing program ongoing that should pick it up if it's there. Maybe.


InterestedListener t1_je3n20j wrote

I just want to say you are incredibly smart and I really enjoy reading your explanations even though a lot of it is over my head. Thank you for sharing so much!