Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Spitzer Space Telescope

A dragon-shaped cloud of dust seems to fly with the stars in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope . In visible light the creature disappears into the clouds perhaps it's "frolicking in the autumn mist" like Puff, the Magic Dragon, from the famous Peter, Paul and Mary song.

The infrared image has revealed that this creature, a dark cloud called M17 SWex, is forming stars at a furious rate but has not yet spawned the most massive type of stars, known as O stars.The stars and gas in this region are now passing though the Sagittarius spiral arm of the Milky Way, touching off a galactic "domino effect." It takes an infrared view to catch the light from these shrouded regions and reveal the earliest stages of star formation.

The bottom image is a three-color composite that shows infrared observations from two Spitzer instruments. Blue represents 3.6-micron light and green shows light of 8 microns, both captured by Spitzer's infrared array camera. Red is 24-micron light detected by Spitzer's multiband imaging photometer. The bottom visible light image is a composite of visible-light data from the Digitized Sky Survey from the UK Schmidt telescope. The image combines two observations that represent the blue and red light from the region.

1 comment:

Nigerian Spam said...

A great blog with updated news.Keeps blogging.
I had a blog related to scam awareness
I added your blog in my favourite links.Hope u too ad my blog