Feeds

Hubble probes Milky Way's turbulent core

Fetching new infrared mosaic

High performance access to file storage

A newly-released composite colour infrared image of our galaxy's core has revealed the Milky Way's centre in all its turbulent glory.

The infrared image of our galaxy's core

The mosaic, showing an area 300 by 115 light years, is made up of 2,304 snaps from the Hubble Space Telescope's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) combined with a previous survey carried out with the Spitzer Space Telescope's Infrared Astronomy Camera (IRAC).

As the press release explains, the galactic core is hidden in visible light by dust clouds which don't prove an impediment to the infrared spectrum, which NICMOS captured at a spatial resolution of 0.025 light-years - revealing "details in objects as small as 20 times the size of our own solar system".

On show are "the glow from ionized hydrogen gas as well as a multitude of stars", some of them massive and "not confined to one of the three known clusters of massive stars in the Galactic Center, known as the Central cluster, the Arches cluster, and the Quintuplet cluster".

The blurb elaborates: "These three clusters are easily seen as tight concentrations of bright, massive stars in the NICMOS image. The distributed stars may have formed in isolation, or they may have originated in clusters that have been disrupted by strong gravitational tidal forces."

It continues: "At upper left, large arcs of ionized gas are resolved into arrays of intriguingly organized linear filaments indicating perhaps a critical role of the influence of locally strong magnetic fields.

"The lower left region shows pillars of gas sculpted by winds from hot massive stars in the Quintuplet cluster. At the center of the image, ionized gas surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy is confined to a bright spiral embedded within a circum-nuclear dusty inner-tube-shaped torus."

The full set of images at various resolutions is available here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.