Baby Stars in Galactic Rat's Nest
Ssc2009 13a

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/D. An (IPAC/Caltech)

Observation • June 10th, 2009 • ssc2009-13a


This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows three baby stars in the bustling center of our Milky Way galaxy. The three stars are the first to be discovered in the region -- previous attempts to find them were unsuccessful because there is so much dust standing between us and our galaxy's core. Spitzer was able to find the newborns with its sharp infrared eyes, which can cut through dust.

The center of our galaxy is a hectic place. It's stuffed with stars, gas and dust. Astronomers have long wondered how stars can form in such chaotic circumstances. While they have known that stars are born there, they weren't able to see the stars forming until now. Astronomers plan to search for more newborn stars in the region, and ultimately learn more about stellar births at the center of the Milky Way.

About the Object

Milky WayGalactic Center
Star > Evolutionary Stage > Protostar
Nebula > Type > Interstellar Medium
Galaxy > Component > Center/Core

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 3.6 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 4.5 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 24.0 µm Spitzer MIPS