Vast red bubbles dominate the latest image of the Cat’s Paw Nebula, a huge star-forming region in the Milky Way, 90 light-years wide and at least 4200 light-years from Earth.
The image, taken by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope comprise heated, pressurised gas surrounding newly formed stars. The green areas represent fluorescence created when radiation from hot stars collide with large molecules known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Spitzer uses the infrared part of the spectrum to gather its data. The image was compiled using information gathered by two of its onboard instruments, the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) and the Multiband Imaging Photometer (MIPS).
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.