Basic Information
What is this?An image towards the centre of our Galaxy
Where is it in the sky?The centre of the image is in the constellation of Ophiuchus
How big is it?The image is around 50 degrees across
How far away is it?Most of the material is hundreds or thousands of light years away
What do the colours represent?Redder colours show colder material, while whitish tones show warmer dust

This image is directed roughly towards the centre of our Galaxy, and shows cold dust laced between the stars.  The colder material looks redder in this image, which is created by combining Planck data with shorter wavelength data from NASA’s IRAS satellite.  The plane of our Galaxy is seen running across the bottom, with the Galactic centre in the lower-right. The “forked” feature on the right is a cloud of gas and dust around the star rho Ophiuchi, and is a region where stars are currently forming.

Image credit: Herschel (left), ESA / HFI / IRAS (right).

Detailed Information

Object Name: 
Type of Object: 
Region of Sky
Image Scale: 
50 degrees across
Ophiuchius the Serpent Bearer
Date of Release: