This photo was viewed 0 times and was downloaded in full size 0 times.

This photo was liked 0 times

Please login in order to see the source link



Our Milky Way is a dusty place. So dusty, in fact, that we cannot see the center of the galaxy in visible light. But when NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope set its infrared eyes on the galactic center, it captured this spectacular view.

Taken with just one of Spitzer's cameras (at a wavelength of 8 microns), the image highlights the region's exceptionally bright and dusty clouds, lit up by young massive stars. Individual stars can also be seen as tiny dots scattered throughout the dust. The top mosaic shows a portion of the galactic center that stretches across a distance of 760 light-years.

Thanks to Spitzer's excellent resolution, the dusty features within the galactic center are seen in unprecedented detail. Four examples are shown in the magnified insets at the bottom. The farthest left box shows a pair of star-forming regions resembling owl-like cosmic eyes. To the left of the "eyes," dark lanes of dust can be seen. This object is probably located in a spiral arm between Earth and the galactic center, in contrast to the following examples, which are all located at the galactic center.

The next inset to the right includes the extremely luminous "Quintuplet" stars, a set of five massive stars believed to have buried themselves in cocoons of dust. Just below and to the right of the Quintuplet is the "Pistol" nebula, a bubble of ejected material from the central, massive Pistol star. The finger-like pillars to the left are part of a structure known as "Sickle." They are similar in size and shape to those in the famous picture of the Eagle Nebula taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Pillars like these are sculpted out of dense dust clouds by radiation and winds from hot stars. The pillars in the Sickle were likely to have been formed by a cluster of hot stars located to their right but not readily visible here.

The third inset highlights a system of long, stringy structures that are seen for the first time near the base of a region known as the "Arched Filaments." These long filaments are about 10 light-years long and less than 1 light-year wide. The bright star-forming regions to the right are some of the brightest in the infrared sky.

The final inset to the right shows the center of our galaxy, which is the brightest spot in the entire mosaic. The brightness is a result of dust being heated up by a compact cluster of hot stars. The bright spot also marks the location of a supermassive black hole, around which a rotating ring of gas and dust known as the circumnuclear disk can be seen.

This image was taken with Spitzer's Infrared Array Camera (IRAC), using its 8-micron detector. It shows emissions from heated-up molecules in dust clouds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

File info

Description The Milky Way Center Aglow with Dust
Date 2006/01/10
Source http://gallery.spitzer.caltech.edu/Imagegallery/image.php?image_name=ssc2006-02b
Author NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Stolovy (SSC/Caltech
(Reusing this file)


Individual images

see http://gallery.spitzer.caltech.edu/Imagegallery/image.php?image_name=ssc2006-02b High quality tif files also avaliable.


Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)


Public Domain


Only registered users can post comments. Please login

EXIF data:
File name ssc2006-02b.jpg
Size, bytes 10801982
Mime type image/jpeg
Orientation of image 1
Image resolution in width direction 3000000/10000
Image resolution in height direction 3000000/10000
Unit of X and Y resolution 2
Color space information 65535
Exif image width 6000
Exif image length 4200
Software used Adobe Photoshop CS2 Macintosh
The images at Free-Photos.biz come mainly from Wikimedia Commons or from our own production. The photos are either in the public domain, or licensed under free linceses: Free-Photos.biz license, GPL, Creative Commons or Free-Art license. Some very few other photos where uploaded to Free-Photos.biz by our users and released into the public domain or into free usage under another free license (like GPL etc.)

All photos in average size can be saved by everyone without registration (by right-clicking) - and all photos can be downloaded in full-size and without the big watermark by members (by left-clicking) (registration and free membership required).

While the copyright and licensing information supplied for each photo is believed to be accurate, Free-Photos.biz does not provide any warranty regarding the copyright status or correctness of licensing terms. If you decide to reuse the images from Free-Photos.biz, you should verify the copyright status of each image just as you would when obtaining images from other sources.

The use of depictions of living or deceased persons may be restricted in some jurisdictions by laws regarding personality rights. Such images are exhibited at Free-Photos.biz as works of art that serve higher artistic interests.

christianity portal