A new image from the European Southern Observatory shows a starscape in the constellation of Serpens. Located close in the sky to the famous Eagle Nebula, this is also a busy region of star formation where clouds of dust and gas are coalescing into knots.
Astronomers study stellar nurseries like these to learn more about the conditions needed for stars to form and grow.
Less of the clouds of dust that make up the nebula are visible in the image because it was taken in the IR range. The stars can be seen through the clouds of dust. It was taken using a ground-based telescope located in the driest place on Earth.
The Very Large Telescope is one of the telescopes included in the Paranal Observatory. It is one of the most popular places on the planet for building ground-based telescopes due to the fact that it rarely rains there and there is no cloud cover on most nights. There is no interference from radio signals or light pollution.
The image was taken using VISTA's 67-million-pixel camera. The bulge of the Milky Way is a busy area for star formation and this survey uses a variety of telescopes to look at it.
You can get today's tech news in your inbox.
There is a recommended video.