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10/07/2011

The Galatic Center in Infrared























I usually don't publish to many images here, but I thought this one was just way too cool. This is a NASA Hubble Space Telescope infrared mosaic image of the Galactic Center of the Milky Way Galaxy. This region is being studied for how massive stars are formed from around and in the galactic center and also influence this environment. The infrared image allows astronomers to gaze through the vast amount of dust that usually obscures our view of the central region. NICMOS shows a lot of massive stars throughout the image. There are three main open clusters here, the Central cluster, the Arches cluster, and the Quintuplet cluster. However, note that the massive stars are not confined to the clusters but are seen as I said before, throughout the image. The winds and radiation form the complex patterns we see here.
The last info I will quote from the NASA image of the day which states: "At the center of the image, ionized gas surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy is confined to a bright spiral embedded within a circum-nuclear dusty inner-tube-shaped torus."
You can find the image and much more detail over at NASA Image of the Day at this link.

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