The southern constellation Crown is home to one of the most special star-forming regions, the Coronet Cluster. This beautiful picture is the space picture of the week.

The Coronet cluster is one of the closest star-forming regions. The cluster is located 420 light-years from the Solar System, about a third of the distance to the most famous star-forming region, the Orion Nebula. The constellation Zuiderkroon is not clearly visible from the Benelux. To observe the Coronet mass with a telescope, you still have to travel south.

In visible light, young stars in the Coronet cluster are invisible. This is because these tiny, tiny crown jewels are hiding in the dark mist. The constellations appear only in infrared light. Fortunately, the Spitzer telescope is equipped with an infrared camera to view these embryonic stars.

Infrared
Spitzer was designed to study “cold,” “old,” and “dust,” three things astronomers can spot well in infrared light. This is correct. Visible light is between 400 and 700 nanometers. Wavelengths longer than 700 nm, but shorter than microwaves (1 mm to 30 cm) are indicated as infrared; Invisible to the human eye. Different infrared wavelengths can reveal different features of the universe. For example, Spitzer can see things that — because they’re so cold — don’t emit much visible light, including exoplanets, brown dwarf stars, and cold matter in interstellar space. One of Spitzer’s main strengths is its sensitivity. That is, it is able to detect very weak infrared light sources.

The satellite image of the week is a composite of the Coronet Cluster in X-ray light (Chandra X-ray Observatory) and infrared light (Spitzer). The image was taken in 2007. What distinguishes the image is that the different stars in the nebula are not all the same age. This gives astronomers a good idea of ​​how young stars form and evolve.

See also  The rings around Saturn disappear. But don't panic, Mars will get it too

it’s spitzer retired now† In the sixteen years of its existence, Spitzer has done a lot of work. For example, he has a lot Beautiful pictures taken of distant galaxies and nearby nebulae. The light from some of them has traveled billions of years to reach us, allowing scientists to see things as they were there long ago. In addition, the space telescope has made a number of special discoveries. For example, it was Spitzer who Discover the largest ring around Saturn† The telescope was also the first to discover The light that came from a planet outside our solar systemcreated the first weather map of an exoplanet (see image below), press Larger particles (called buckyballs)found new protostars (i.e. stars in the process of formation) and black holes.

Over the past decades, space telescopes and satellites have captured beautiful images of nebulae, galaxies, stellar nurseries, and planets. Every weekend we remove one or more great space images from our archives. Enjoy all the pictures? check it out on this page