Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Galactic Centre in Infrared

What does the centre of our galaxy look like? In visible light, the Milky Way's centre is hidden by clouds of obscuring dust and gas. But in this stunning vista, the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared cameras, penetrate much of the dust revealing the stars of the crowded galactic centre region.

A mosaic of many smaller snapshots, this detailed, false-colour image shows older, cool stars in bluish hues. Red and brown glowing dust clouds are associated with young, hot stars in stellar nurseries. The very centre of the Milky Way has been found capable of forming newborn stars.

The galactic centre lies some 26,700 light-years away, toward the constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this picture spans about 900 light-years.

Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Spitzer Space Telescope, Susan Stolovy (SSC/Caltech) et al.; Reprocessing: Judy Schmidt

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