Downtown Milkyway – Image of the day March 28 2011


Image courtesy Caltech/NASA

There’s a party in our galaxy’s “city center,” and thousands of stars have gathered to light up the scene.

In visible light this region of the Milky Way is so bright that it’s almost impossible to see what’s happening. But new infrared pictures from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope—such as the one above released March 18—can reveal the raucous activity.

In the new shot, tendrils of warm gas (yellow-red) and carbon-rich dust (green) drape across the galactic center, where bright white star clusters are orbiting an unseen supermassive black hole.

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