In this large celestial mosaic taken by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and published in 2019, there’s a lot to see, including multiple clusters of stars born from the same dense clumps of gas and dust. Some of these clusters are older than others and more evolved, making this a generational stellar portrait. This image is of the Cepheus C and Cepheus B regions and combines data from Spitzer’s IRAC and MIPS instruments.

The grand green-and-orange delta filling most of the image is a faraway nebula, or a cloud of gas and dust in space. Though the cloud may appear to flow from the bright white spot at its tip, it is actually what remains of a much larger cloud that has been carved away by radiation from stars. The bright region is illuminated by massive stars, belonging to a cluster that extends above the white spot. The white color is the combination of four colors (blue, green, orange and red), each representing a different wavelength of infrared light, which is invisible to human eyes. Dust that has been heated by the stars’ radiation creates the surrounding red glow.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

在这张由NASA的斯皮策太空望远镜拍摄并于2019年发表的巨大的天体拼图中,,有很多值得一看的地方,包括由相同密度的气体和尘埃组成的多个星团。这些星团中的某些星团比其他星团更古老,并且进化得更多,这使这张拼图成为了一张恒星的世代肖像。这张照片是仙王座C和仙王座B区域,结合了斯皮策的IRAC和MIPS仪器的数据。

绿色和橙色的大三角洲占据了图像的大部分,它是一个遥远的星云,或者说是空间中的气体和尘埃。虽然这片云团看起来像是从它顶端明亮的白点流出来的,但它实际上是一个更大的云团的残余部分,这个云团是由恒星的辐射分离出来的。明亮的区域被大质量恒星照亮,它们属于一个延伸到白点上方的星团。白色是四种颜色(蓝、绿、橙、红)的组合,每种颜色代表人眼不可见的不同波长的红外光。被恒星辐射加热的尘埃产生了周围的红色辉光。

影像来源:NASA/JPL-Caltech

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