Cygnus Star Forming Region DR22
This infrared picture shows a cloud, known as DR22, bursting with new stars in the Cygnus region of the sky. Spitzer's infrared eyes can both see through and see dust, giving it a unique view into star-forming nests. The blue areas are dusty clouds, and the orange is mainly hot gas.
This image is one of the first to be taken during Spitzer's warm mission -- a new phase that began after the telescope, which operated for more than five-and-a-half years, ran out of liquid coolant. The picture was snapped with the two infrared channels that still work at Spitzer's still-quite-chilly temperature of 30 Kelvin (about minus 406 Fahrenheit). The two infrared channels are part of Spitzer's infrared array camera: 3.6-micron light is blue and 4.5-micron light is orange.
This picture was taken while the telescope was being re-commissioned, on July 21.