Stellar Birth in a Dark Cloud

Stellar Birth in a Dark Cloud (I)

Stellar Birth in a Dark Cloud (II)

From The European Southern Observatory

These images show a unique, wide-field infrared view of the region around IRAS 16362-4845, an "emission" nebula that shines by its own light that is situated within a dark cloud in a Milky Way region (the "RCW 108 complex") at a distance of about 4,000 light-years in the direction of the Southern constellation of Ara (the Altar). The dark cloud is silhouetted against the rich background of stars in the Milky Way, whose light is blocked by the dust particles in the cloud. The photo is based on approx. 600 individual exposures with the SOFI instrument at the 3.58-m ESO New Technology Telescope (NTT). The field-of-view measures about 13 x 13 arcmin2, coresponding to 17 x 17 light-years2. The second images shows a smaller area, near the centre.

Based on press release with ESO PR Photos 30a-b/00
Target Name: Stellar Birth in a Dark Cloud

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Last Modified On: Monday, November 20, 2000