Cluster of colour
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.