Where are stars made? NASA's Spitzer spies a hot spot

The nebula known as W51 is one of the most active star-forming regions in the Milky Way galaxy. First identified in 1958 by radio telescopes, it makes a rich cosmic tapestry in this image from NASA's recently retired Spitzer ...

Image: Orion A in infrared

Stars form within giant clouds of gas and dust that pervade galaxies like our own Milky Way. This image depicts one such cloud, known as Orion A, as seen by ESA's Herschel and Planck space observatories.

Exploring the dusty prehistory of the solar system

The solar system as we know it formed about 4.6 billion years ago as fields of interstellar dust orbiting the sun aggregated into planets and smaller objects. Presolar dust particles no longer exist in the inner solar system, ...

Understanding star formation in the nucleus of galaxy IC 342

An international team of researchers used NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, to make maps of the ring of molecular clouds that encircles the nucleus of galaxy IC 342. The maps determined the proportion ...

VISTA peeks through the Small Magellanic Cloud's dusty veil

VISTA's infrared capabilities have now allowed astronomers to see the myriad of stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy much more clearly than ever before. The result is this record-breaking imageā€”the biggest infrared ...

James Webb Space Telescope 'wings' successfully deployed

Recently inside the clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, engineers successfully completed two deployments for the James Webb Space Telescope's "wings" or side portions of the backplane ...

Image: The Magellanic Clouds and an interstellar filament

Portrayed in this image from ESA's Planck satellite are the two Magellanic Clouds, among the nearest companions of our Milky Way galaxy. The Large Magellanic Cloud, about 160 000 light-years away, is the large red and orange ...

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