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Lobster Nebula - birthplace of stars - revealed in infrared

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At www.guardian.co.uk


This image compares infrared and visible views of the Lobster Nebula (NGC 6357). The visible light image (left) was created from the Digitized Sky Survey 2 images. The new infrared image (right) was taken with the VISTA telescope at ESO's Paranal Observat
(image by ESO/VVV Survey/Digitized Sky Survey 2/ D. Minniti. Acknowledgement: Ignacio Toledo)

Far from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius lies the Lobster Nebula. Here, countless hot young suns are forged and glow blue, white and orange through a thin veil of interstellar dust. Great arms of gas that shine a pale shade of purple stretch out from the heart of the nebula. Vista, the largest and most powerful survey telescope ever built, is scanning the Milky Way as part of a major effort to map our galaxy's structure and learn how it formed. The Lobster Nebula lies 8,000 light years from Earth. The nebula is home to the Pismis-24 star cluster, which contains some of the most massive stars in the Milky Way. The masses of the stars in the cluster are all less that 100 times that of our sun, but cosmic heavyweights nonetheless. In the infrared, large plumes of reddish material are much reduced and twisting arms of pale purple gas become visible.

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At www.guardian.co.uk


 

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[[VID72]]This zoom video sequence starts with a br... by Kyle McDermott on Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 7:19:07 PM