Optical image of central region of the Milky Way

Optical image of central region of the Milky Way


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Central Milky Way. Optical image of star clouds and nebulae around the central region of the Milky Way. North is at top. Dark dust lanes are seen obscuring the light of distant stars at upper left to lower centre. Several pink emission nebulae are seen, which glow as the gases they contain are excited by radiation from stars embedded in them. At upper right, blue nebulosity can be seen surrounding the star Rho Ophiuchi. The blue colour is caused by tiny dust particles reflecting the light of nearby stars. The constellation Scorpius runs from upper right to lower left, and includes the bright star Antares (Alpha Scorpii), below Rho Ophiuchi, seen surrounded by yellow nebulosity.

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