Clus­ter of colour

All About Space - - Launch Pad -

Yet an­other vi­brant piece of ce­les­tial art­work has been im­aged by the Euro­pean South­ern Ob­ser­va­tory's (ESO) Very Large Te­le­scope (VLT), sit­u­ated in Chile. This time the VLT pointed its pow­er­ful op­tics, con­sist­ing of four 8.2-me­tre (27-foot) tele­scopes, at the stun­ning star clus­ter RCW 38.

This im­age was taken in or­der to test out the new HAWK-I cam­era on the Ground-Layer Adap­tive Op­tics As­sisted by Lasers (GRAAL) in­stru­ment. The test proved a suc­cess as it was able to re­turn this mag­nif­i­cent im­age, re­veal­ing the con­trast of colours that are brought about by the il­lu­mi­na­tion of young, bright stars and pro­to­stars, which are even younger stars still gathering mass from the sur­round­ing gas cloud.

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