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This page contains high-resolution images from the Spitzer Space Telescope which you can interactively zoom into and pan around. JavaScript and a current installation of Flash are required for this page to work correctly.

Large Magellanic Cloud

Large Magellanic Cloud
Nearly one million objects are revealed for the first time in this Spitzer view of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to our own Milky Way galaxy. The blue color in the picture, seen most prominently in the central bar, represents starlight from older stars. The chaotic, bright regions outside this bar are filled with hot, massive stars buried in thick blankets of dust. The red color around these bright regions is from dust heated by stars, while the red dots scattered throughout the picture are either dusty, old stars or more distant galaxies. The greenish clouds contain cooler interstellar gas and molecular-sized dust grains illuminated by ambient starlight.

Orion Nebula

Orion Nebula
This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Orion nebula, our closest massive star-making factory, 1,450 light-years from Earth.

Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy
This infrared composite image shows the Andromeda galaxy, a neighbor to our Milky Way galaxy. The image highlights the contrast between the galaxy's choppy waves of dust (red) and smooth sea of older stars (blue).

The Galactic Center

The Galactic Center
This dazzling infrared image shows hundreds of thousands of stars crowded into the swirling core of our spiral Milky Way galaxy. In visible-light pictures, this region cannot be seen at all because dust lying between Earth and the galactic center blocks our view.

Mountains of Creation

Mountains of Creation
This majestic false-color image shows the "mountains" where stars are born. These towering pillars of cool gas and dust are illuminated at their tips with light from warm, embryonic stars.

Carina Nebula

Carina Nebula
Like cracking open a watermelon and finding its seeds, Spitzer "busted open" this murky cloud to reveal star embryos (yellow or white) tucked inside finger-like pillars of thick dust (pink). Hot gases are green and foreground stars are blue. Not all of the newfound star embryos can be easily spotted.

DR21

Star Formation in the DR21 Region
Hidden behind a shroud of dust in the constellation Cygnus is an exceptionally bright source of radio emission called DR21. Visible light images reveal no trace of what is happening in this region because of heavy dust obscuration. Images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope allow us to peek behind the cosmic veil and pinpoint one of the most massive natal stars yet seen in our Milky Way galaxy. The never-before-seen star is 100,000 times as bright as the Sun. Also revealed for the first time is a powerful outflow of hot gas emanating from this star and bursting through a giant molecular cloud.

 
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