Her­schel’s view of our gal­axy

All About Space - - Launch Pad -

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.

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