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05.07.12 News | Today's News | Past Issues
05.07.12 News
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Picture of the Day

Cosmic Dust Clouds

Dust may sound boring and uninteresting — the surface grime that hides the beauty of an object. But this new image of Messier 78 and surroundings, which reveals the submillimetre-wavelength radiation from dust grains in space, shows that dust can be dazzling.

The submillimetre-wavelength observations, made with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope and shown here in orange, use the heat glow of interstellar dust grains to show astronomers where new stars are being formed. They are overlaid on a view of the region in visible light.

Image credit: ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO)/T. Stanke et al./Igor Chekalin/Digitized Sky Survey 2