Inside the Dark Heart of the Eagle
Embedded within the dusty filaments are 700 condensations of dust and gas that will eventually become stars. It is estimated that about 100 of these are protostars, celestial objects in the final stages of formation. The other 600 objects are insufficiently developed to be considered protostars, but these too will eventually become another generation of stars.
Observing these stellar nurseries is a key programme for Herschel, which aims to uncover the demographics of star formation and its origin. As well as this region of Aquila, Herschel will target fourteen other star-forming regions as part of the Gould's Belt Key Programme.