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Galaxy’s Ring of Star formation shines face on

30 Oct 2014, 14:24 UTC
Galaxy’s Ring of Star formation shines face on
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I’ve seen a lot of lovely images from the Spitzer Space Telescope. It takes infrared images and can see the fine structure of galaxies, where stars are forming and where they are not forming. The photos paint a picture of the history and evolution of a galaxy. The latest image released last week shows some amazing features.
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
The Cyan light in the image is a combination of blue and green coloured light representing infrared wavelengths of light at 3.4 and 4.5 microns. This wavelength shows the stellar population in the galaxy. The red light is representing dust features that glow brightly in a wavelength of 8 microns.
3.4 and 4.5 micron light only. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
The most amazing and peculiar feature visible in the images is the giant dusty ring on the outer edges of the galaxy. This dusty ring is a result of newly formed stars that are heating up their surroundings, causing them to glow in infrared light. Without any dust closer to the bulge of the galaxy, no new stars are forming near the centre.
The Galaxy, NGC 1291, is 12 Billion years old and is located 33 Million light years ...

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