Infrared Universe: Galactic Center
Release Date: October 01, 2018 10:00AM (EDT)
Media Use: Copyright
About This Video
The densely packed starfields at our galaxy's center are hidden behind dust clouds and only become visible in infrared light. In the near-infrared they begin to appear, but are reddened for much the same reason that sunlight turns red when filtered through a smoky cloud. The dense dust clouds begin to stand out at longer infrared wavelengths, taking on changing rainbows of color depending on which parts of the spectrum contribute to the image. The very coldest, densest dust will only start to glow at the very longest wavelengths of light, rendered in red in the far-infrared image in this sequence.
Far-infrared: At these long infrared wavelengths, the hottest dust glows blue, while the coldest is red.
Mid-infrared: Some of the hottest dust clouds begin to glow as one looks deeper into the infrared spectrum.
Near-infrared: The myriad stars and shadows caused by dust clouds are more vivid at shorter wavelengths of light.
ABOUT THE INFRARED UNIVERSE COLLECTION
The human eye can only see visible light, but objects give off a variety of wavelengths of light. To see an object as it truly exists, we would ideally look at its appearance through the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Telescopes show us objects as they appear emitting different energies of light, with each wavelength conveying unique information about the object. The Webb Space Telescope will study infrared light from celestial objects with much greater clarity and sensitivity than ever before. Explore the Infrared Universe.