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01.10.06

Spitzer 8.0 micron View of the Milky Way Center

Our Milky Way is a dusty place. So dusty, in fact, that we cannot see the center of the galaxy in visible light. But when NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope set its infrared eyes on the galactic center, it captured this spectacular view.Taken with just one of Spitzer's cameras (at a wavelength of 8 microns), the image highlights the region's exceptionally bright and dusty clouds, lit up by young massive stars. Individual stars can also be seen as tiny dots scattered throughout the dust. The mosaic shows a portion of the galactic center that stretches across a distance of 760 light-years.