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News Release 204 of 938

November 10, 2009 11:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2009-28

NASA's Great Observatories Celebrate International Year of Astronomy

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Video: Galactic Center Pan Animation (Narrated)

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The mysterious heart of our Milky Way galaxy is unveiled in new detail in this color composite image. The power of all three of NASA's Great Observatories — Spitzer, Chandra, and Hubble, had been brought to bear on the tumultuous galactic core. The colorful spectacle of stellar evolution plays out in a vast tapestry across the galactic center. The core hosts vibrant regions of star birth, against a fiery backdrop of glowing hydrogen. Permeating the region is a diffuse blue haze of X-ray light from gas that has been heated to millions of degrees by outflows from massive stars and supernovae. Infrared light reveals more than a hundred thousand stars along with reddish glowing dust clouds that create complex structures including compact globules and long filaments.

Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon and M. Estacion (STScI)

Selected still images from this video: (click to enlarge):


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