Peering through the dust

Eso_potw2235a_1024

eso_potw2235a  

Credit: ESO/Nogueras-Lara et al.

This Picture of the Week shows an infrared view of Sagittarius B1, a region close to the centre of the Milky Way, imaged with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. The centre of our galaxy is an exotic environment, densely populated with stars, and has been suggested to have more star formation than any other place in the Milky Way. But so far we have only found less than 10% of all young stars we expect there. Where are the others?  There is a catch: our view towards the centre is obscured by clouds of dust and gas, blocking the light from the stars. With infrared instruments it is possible to peer through these clouds. In this image, taken with the infrared HAWK-I instrument on ESO’s VLT, we get to take a closer look at this region. The view is mesmerising, unveiling a myriad of stars. In a recent study, a team led by Francisco Nogueras Lara (MPIA Heidelberg, Germany) discovered that this region hosts an excess of young stars, with a combined mass of more than 100 000 times the mass of the Sun. This is a key step forward in our quest to find all the expected young stars in the central regions of the Milky Way, and thus understand how stars evolve in such a unique environment. This image comes from the GALACTICNUCLEUS survey, whose goal is to obtain high-resolution infrared images of the galactic centre. With future infrared ESO instruments such as ERIS on the VLT and MICADO on the upcoming ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), the team hopes to study the stars in greater detail, which will lead to a better understanding of the evolution of the Milky Way’s centre. 

Provider: European Southern Observatory

Image Source: https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw2235a/

Curator: European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, None, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Sagittarius B1
Subject - Milky Way
Star
Nebula > Appearance > Dark > Molecular Cloud
Eso_potw2235a_1280
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ID
potw2235a
Subject Category
B.3   B.4.2.3.1  
Subject Name
Sagittarius B1
Credits
ESO/Nogueras-Lara et al.
Release Date
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw2235a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Instrument
Color Assignment
Band
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
9191.0, 4086.0
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
European Southern Observatory
URL
https://www.eso.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
None
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
European Southern Observatory
Publisher ID
eso
Resource ID
potw2235a
Metadata Date
2022-07-04T10:41:55+02:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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