Infant Stars in Serpens Infant stars are glowing gloriously in this infrared image of the Serpens star-forming region, captured by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.
The reddish-pink dots are baby stars deeply embedded in the cosmic cloud of gas and dust that collapsed to create it. A dusty disk of cosmic debris, or “protoplanetary disk,” that may eventually form planets, surrounds the infant stars.
Wisps of green throughout the image indicate the presence of carbon rich molecules called, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). On Earth, PAHs can be found on charred barbecue grills and in automobile exhaust. Blue specks sprinkled throughout the image are background stars in our Milky Way Galaxy.
The Serpens star-forming region is located approximately 848 light-years away in the Serpens constellation.
The image is a three-channel false-color composite, where emission at 4.5 microns is blue, emission at 8.0 microns is green, and 24 micron emission is red.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/L. Cieza (University of Texas at Austin)
Galactic Cirrus billows and obscures the background Universe in this direction. NGC 7497 is seen through partly cloudy skies. These galactic clouds of dust are sculpted by the winds of nearby stars. They are relatively close to us (only hundreds of light years away) and there are few stars in the foreground to hinder of view of them. The color of the clouds is odd due to the fact they are illuminated mostly by diffuse galactic star light.
Image: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona [high-resolution]
NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft launches aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 1:28 p.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.
MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. The trip to Mars takes 10 months, and MAVEN will go into orbit around Mars in September 2014.