The Galactic Center in the Infrared

The Galactic Center in the Infrared
From the 2Mass Image Gallery
This 2.2 degree by 3.9 degree image mosaic shows the Galactic Plane (the Plane of the Milky Way). The Galactic Center is the very luminous Ks-bright (reddish) source south of the image center. (The image is centered at RA = 17h 46m 22.0s Dec = -27d 58m 20s [J2000].) This mosaic contains more than 1 million stars. Visible, even in the near-infrared, are the obscuring dust lanes that fill the Plane between us and the Galactic Center, located about 8.1 kpc (26400 light-years) away. However, with 2MASS, we are able to see farther through this dust than can be accomplished at visible wavelengths. Image mosaic by E. Kopan (IPAC).
The image is a three-band composite constructed from 2MASS Atlas Images. As are infrared images, they  must be mapped into false colors: J light (1.2 µm) into blue, H light (1.6 µm) in green, and Ks light (2.2 µm) into red. The Atlas Images are produced in the 2MASS Production Processing System. For all images, north is up and east is to the left.

The text is based on accompanying on-line materials.

Back to galaxies index.

Back to main index.

© Copyright 2000 Outreach Consortium. All Rights Reserved.

Last modified on Sunday, December 17, 2000