PIA12074: Baby Stars Finally Found in Jumbled Galactic Center
Target Name: Milky Way
Mission: Spitzer Space Telescope
Instrument: IRAC
Product Size: 2934 x 2052 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: California Institute of Technology
Other Information: JPL News Release 2009-097
Full-Res TIFF: PIA12074.tif (18.06 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA12074.jpg (805.7 kB)

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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.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Addition Date:
2009-06-10