Chaotic web of galactic star birth
This recently released stunning scene captured by the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory reveals the true complexity of our galaxy, the Milky Way. To the human eye our galaxy appears as an impressive collection of stars, but to the far-infrared eyes of the nowdefunct spacecraft, intricate networks of gas filaments and dark bubbles are revealed, interspersed by exceedingly bright hotspots where new, baby stars spring to life. Cooler regions are displayed in a red-brownish colour, while hotter regions – where star formation is much more intense – dazzle in blue and white overtones. Look closely and you’ll be able to make out the chaotic web of gas filaments – it’s thought that the there’s a link between star formation and the structures filling the interstellar medium. The densest strands become unstable, forming clumps of material tied together by gravity.