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Nebula are perhaps the most wondrous objects in the heavens. Comprised of gases and dust which glow with striking color, these dynamic regions are the birthplaces of stars and solar systems.
The Rosette Nebula in the constellation Monoceros surrounds a bright cluster of stars - the result of star formation from the material of the nebula. Rosette is one of the largest and most massive nebulas in the Milky Way, estimated to have a diameter of some 55 light years and a mass of over 11,000 suns. The clear region in the middle is thought to be the result of the exhaustion of the nebula material following the formation of the central star cluster. Radiation from these newly-formed stars is "blowing away' the remaining material, resulting in the formation of the circular, gepmetric appearance. The music reflects both the calm and the intensity of this beautiful "Prism of the Heavens."
Trifid gets its name from the three-part division which segments the nebula. The central star is actually a small group of at least six stars which illuminate the surrounding material. Located in Sagitarius, Trifid is a very distant 5,200 light years from earth. The image resembles the human figure, with limbs extended as a dancer in motion. The music is light and exuberant, becoming increasingly animated to the end.
The "Great Nebula" in Orion appears as the middle star in the warrior's sword. Over 1,600 light years from earth, this nebula is spread across about 30 light years of space and is a very active region for star formation. The image invokes a feeling of preimeval nature - the revelation of creation. Tennyson offers poetic description of this nebula:
Regions of lucid matter taking form,
Brushes of fire, hazy gleams,
Clusters and beds of worlds, and bee-like swarms
Of suns and starry streams.
The music reflects the sense of wonder and contemplation humanity shares in viewing this magnificent region of the universe.
- Greg Danner
Alto Saxophone 1/2
Bb Trumpet 1/2
Bb Trumpet 3/4
Bb Trumpet 5/6
F Horn 1/2
F Horn 3/4
Percussion 1 (crotales, bells, high suspended cymbal, xylophone, tambourine, tam-tam, triangle)
Percussion 2 (vibraphone, xylophone, finger cymbals, triangle, small suspended cymbal, chimes)
Percussion 3 (chimes, low suspended cymbal, marimba, maracas, triangle, xylophone, claves)
Percussion 4 (woodblock, 4 tom-toms, tam-tam, antique cymbal, bells, large suspended cymbal, crash cymbals, maracas, chimes, claves, metal wind chimes)
Percussion 5 (tenor drum, bass drum, snare drum, small suspended cymbal, bell tree, lion's roar)