File:Galactic Cntr full cropped.jpg

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English: Center of our Milky Way Galaxy, located in the constellation of Sagittarius, a 2MASS (Two Micron All-Sky Survey) image.

In visible light the lion's share of stars are hidden behind thick clouds of dust. This obscuring dust becomes increasingly transparent at infrared wavelengths. This 2MASS image, covering a field roughly 10 x 8 degrees (about the area of your fist held out at arm's length) reveals multitudes of otherwise hidden stars, penetrating all the way to the central star cluster of the Galaxy.

This central core, seen in the upper left portion of the image, is about 25,000 light years away and is thought to harbor a supermassive black hole. The reddening of the stars here and along the Galactic Plane is due to scattering by the dust; it is the same process by which the sun appears to redden as it sets.

The densest fields of dust still show up in this mosaic. Also evident are several nebulae to the lower right, including the Cat's Paw Nebula. The 2MASS analysis software has identified and measured the properties of almost 10 million stars in this spectacular field alone.

Deutsch: Zentrum unserer Milchstraße, im Sternbild Sagittarius (Schütze) gelegen, ein 2MASS (Two Micron All-Sky Survey) Bild.

Im sichtbaren Licht ist der Löwenanteil der Sterne hinter dicken Staubwolken verborgen. Diese Staubverschleierung wird im Infrarotbereich transparenter: Dieses 2MASS Bild, ein Feld von etwa 10 x 8 Grad (etwa eine Faust groß auf Armlänge), zeigt Scharen von sonst verborgenen Sternen im zentralen Sternhaufen der Milchstraße.

Dieser zentrale Kern im oberen linken Teil des Bildes, in dem ein schwarzes Loch vermutet wird, ist etwa 25.000 Lichtjahre entfernt. Die Rötung der Sterne hier und entlang der galaktischen Ebene aufgrund der Streuung durch den Staub hat die gleiche Ursache, wie sich die Sonne beim Untergang zu röten scheint.

Auch die dichtesten Bereiche von Staub werden hier dargestellt. Außerdem mehrere Nebel unten rechts, einschließlich des Katzenpfote-Nebels. Allein in diesem spektakulären Feld hat die 2MASS Analyse-Software fast 10 Millionen Sterne identifiziert und ihre Eigenschaften gemessen.

Source Atlas Image [or Atlas Image mosaic] obtained as part of the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.
Author 2MASS/G. Kopan, R. Hurt
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Public domain This work has been released into the public domain by its author, 2MASS/G. Kopan, R. Hurt. This applies worldwide.
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AnnotationsThis image is annotated: View the annotations at Commons


Galactic Plane

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