Heart of the Milky Way Galaxy

With this remarkable VISTA mosaic we look deep into the dusty heart of our own Milky Way galaxy in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer). About one million stars are revealed in this picture, most of them not seen in visible light pictures. As well as absorbing light, the dust also scatters blue light from the distant stars and makes the central part of this huge starscape appear very red. This image is a mosaic created from VISTA images taken through Y, J and Ks filters in the near-infrared part of the spectrum. The image is about 2 degrees by 1.5 degrees in extent. The total exposure time for this mosaic was only 80 seconds.

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