Stars pop onto the scene in new WISE image

Stars Pop Onto the Scene in New WISE Image
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
(PhysOrg.com) -- This enormous section of the Milky Way galaxy is a mosaic of images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The constellations Cassiopeia and Cepheus are featured in this 1,000-square degree expanse. These constellations, named after an ancient Queen and King of Ethiopia in Greek mythology, are visible in the northern sky every night of the year as seen from most of the United States.

To the unaided human eye, Cassiopeia is easily recognizable by the five bright stars that make up its "W" shape. However, WISE observed , where the sky takes on a very different appearance. The bright stars of the constellations fade into obscurity amongst the backdrop of millions of other stars revealed by WISE. Cool that fill the space between the stars in the Milky Way glow in infrared light and tell us more about the story of how stars are born, and how they die.

Within this image are dozens of dense clouds, called nebulae. Many of the nebulae seen here are places where new stars are forming, creating bubble like structures that can be dozens to hundreds of light-years in size. The process of star formation within these giant clouds has been likened to fireworks, celebrating the birth of new generations of stars. But the death of stars is also seen in the remnants of a that was witnessed by the astronomer in 1572 AD. This remnant is located about one-fifth of the way from left of center, and about one-sixth of the way up from the middle of the image.

The colors used in this image represent specific wavelengths of infrared light. Blue and cyan (blue-green) represent light emitted at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns, which is predominantly from stars. Green and red represent light from 12 and 22 microns, respectively, which is mostly emitted by dust. This image is a mosaic of thousands of individual frames from WISE, combined first into 442 interlocking tiles before re-projecting and stitching them into the final picture. This was done for each of the four WISE wavelengths, totaling nearly 30 billion pixels in the interlocking tiles.


Explore further

Image: A nebula by any other name

Provided by JPL/NASA
Citation: Stars pop onto the scene in new WISE image (2012, January 10) retrieved 25 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-stars-scene-wise-image.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jan 11, 2012
So what this tells us is that there's been definite observation of spectacular star death - but alas, NONE of star birth.
So far the observation of star birth eludes ANY viewing of the sky.
This makes it all the more hollow when people are exclaiming loudly that nebulae are the "places where new stars are forming". There just is NO support for such claims, no matter how people wish it were true.
All observations thus far still contradict the widely accepted [ but highly questionable ] accretion theory which says that stars and planets grow from dust clouds.

Jan 11, 2012
Yep. Seems like kevin is a broken record.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more