Herschel’s view of our galaxy
Gas and dust block our view of the centre of the Milky Way, but it is this same material that provides the vast streak of faint light that divides the sky above us. In this image, the European Space Agency (ESA)’s defunct Herschel space observatory snapped a shot of the galactic centre in far-infrared.
The blue within the image dictates warmer, denser gas and dust towards the centre of the galaxy. In comparison, the yellow represents colder, more diffuse gas and dust. The infinity-shaped loop you can see in this image holds a mind-boggling mass equivalent to 30 million-times the mass of our Sun, also known as a solar mass.