Stellar Nursery in the Rosette Nebula
This image from the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory shows the cloud associated with the Rosette Nebula, a stellar nursery about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the Monoceros, or Unicorn, constellation. Herschel collects the infrared light given out by dust. The bright smudges are dusty cocoons containing massive embryonic stars, which will grow up to 10 times the mass of our sun. The small spots near the center of the image are lower mass stellar embryos. The Rosette Nebula itself, and its massive cluster of stars, is located to the right of the picture.
This image is a three-color composite showing infrared wavelengths of 70 microns (blue), 160 microns (green), and 250 microns (red). It was made with observations from Herschel's Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer and the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver instruments.
Herschel is an ESA cornerstone mission, with science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and with participation by NASA.
A media day celebrating the release of the first results from ESA’s Herschel infrared space telescope will take place on May 6, 2010, at Space Expo, at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands. Doors open at 11:30 CEST. The media day is organized in connection with the Herschel First Results Symposium taking place this week at ESTEC and the theme is Revealing the Hidden Side of Star Formation. For more information on the day's activities, see the press release.
For more information on this image, visit ESA's Herschel Program site.
Image Credit: ESA/PACS & SPIRE Consortium/HOBYS Key Programme Consortia