Optical image of the central Milky Way

Optical image of the central Milky Way

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Credit: JERRY LODRIGUSS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Central Milky Way. Optical image of the central region of the Milky Way in the constellations Sagittarius (left frame) and Scorpius (right frame). The Milky Way is our own galaxy; we see it as a band of light crossing the sky. The galactic centre lies in the direction of Sagittarius, so the star clouds are very bright in this region. There are numerous nebulae (pink) visible here. The brightest, just left of centre, is the Lagoon Nebula (M8). These emission nebulae glow red due to ionisation of their hydrogen gas by radiation from hot young stars embedded within them. The very bright point of light at upper right is one of the planets, in the constellation Scorpius.

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Keywords: astronomy, central, cosmology, galactic centre, galaxy, lagoon nebula, m8, milky way, nebula, nebulae, sagittarius, science

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