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Finding 'Yellowballs' in our Milky Way
Sig15 02

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Observation • January 27th, 2015 • sig15-002

sig15-002

Volunteers using the web-based Milky Way Project brought star-forming features nicknamed "yellowballs" to the attention of researchers, who later showed that they are a phase of massive star formation. The yellow balls -- which are several hundred to thousands times the size of our solar system -- are pictured here in the center of this image of the W33 Star forming region taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Infrared light has been assigned different colors; yellow occurs where green and red overlap. The yellow balls represent an intermediary stage of massive star formation that takes place before massive stars carve out cavities in the surrounding gas and dust (seen as green-rimmed bubbles with red interiors in this image).

Infrared light of 3.6 microns is blue; 8-micron light is green; and 24-micron light is red.

About the Object

Name
W33
Type
Nebula > Type > Star Formation

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 3.6 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 8.0 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 24.0 µm Spitzer MIPS

Astrometrics

Position ()
RA =18h 14m 13.8s
Dec = -17° 55' 49.9"
Field of View
30.7 x 17.3 arcminutes
Orientation
North is 61.5° left of vertical