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Astronomers capture a vibrant array of celestial colours

11 Jul 2018, 13:23 UTC
Astronomers capture a vibrant array of celestial colours
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New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope show the star cluster RCW 38 in all its glory. Image credit: ESO/K. Muzic
New observations with European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) show the star cluster RCW 38 in all its glory. This image was taken during testing of the HAWK-I camera with the GRAAL adaptive optics system. It shows RCW 38 and its surrounding clouds of brightly glowing gas in exquisite detail, with dark tendrils of dust threading through the bright core of this young gathering of stars.
This image shows the star cluster RCW 38, as captured by the HAWK-I infrared imager mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. By gazing into infrared wavelengths, HAWK-I can examine dust-shrouded star clusters like RCW 38, providing an unparalleled view of the stars forming within. This cluster contains hundreds of young, hot, massive stars, and lies some 5,500 light-years away in the constellation of Vela (The Sails)
The central area of RCW 38 is visible here as a bright, blue-tinted region, an area inhabited by numerous very young stars and protostars that are still in the process of forming. The intense radiation pouring out from these newly born stars ...

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