This stunning image, captured by the NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), shows part of the sky in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer). The region is rendered in exquisite detail — deep red and bright blue stars are scattered across the frame, set against a background of thousands of more distant stars and galaxies.
While some of the colours in this frame have been enhanced and tweaked during the process of creating the image from the observational data, different stars do indeed glow in different colours.
Stars differ in colour according to their surface temperature: very hot stars are blue or white, while cooler stars are redder. They may be cooler because they are smaller, or because they are very old and have entered the red giant phase, when an old star expands and cools dramatically as its core collapses.
Originally published by Cosmos as Slice of Sagittarius
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
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