Thursday, June 21, 2012

Picture of the Day: Scorpius

Progressive Science

Deep in the Milky Way in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion) lies NGC 6357 , a region of space where new stars are being born in of chaotic clouds of gas and dust. The outer parts of this vast nebula have now been imaged by ESO’s Very Large Telescope [VLT], producing the best picture of this region taken so far.
The new picture shows a broad river of dust across the center that absorbs the light from more distant objects. To the right there is a small cluster of brilliant blue-white young stars that have formed from the gas. These are probably only a few million years old, very young by stellar standards. The intense ultraviolet radiation streaming out from these stars is hollowing out a cavity in the surrounding gas and dust and sculpting it in strange ways.


VLT Takes a Close Look at NGC 6357

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