Starmaking in Whirlpool Galaxy
Date: 13 February 1996
Copyright: ESA/ISO, CEA Saclay and ISOCAM Consortium
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The spiral arms of a galaxy 20 million light-years away in space are highlighted by clouds of dust and gas, opaque in visible light. Here the European Space Agency's new Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, sees star formation in progress. This image was obtained with the Camera in ISO (also called ISOCAM) at a wavelength of 15 microns. At this wavelength the Earth's atmosphere makes cosmic observations very difficult -- hence the need for Europe's space telescope dedicated to infrared astronomy.
Last Update: 1 September 2019