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Fresh Look at Galaxy’s Largest Star-forming Region


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Text, News From The Universe. March 25, 2020. The Earth spins.
Text, Fresh Look at Galaxy's Largest Star-forming Region. March 25, 2020. Credit, Nasa JPL Caltech, Wanggi Lim, James De Buizer
Despite millennia of stargazing. the formation process for massive stars is still mysterious.
NASA's SOFIA mission observed the largest star-forming region in our galaxy, called W 5 1 A, in the search for answers.
SOFIA detects infra-red light, which can pass through dust clouds to reveal the stars within.

SOFIA discovered never before seen young stars, plus multi-generational star clusters.
Image, A nebula of interstellar dust and gas.
Text, Radiation from the largest stars pushes dust outward, forming arcs and bubbles, shown in green and red.
Hot gas in the bubbles is traced in blue.
SOFIA aided in an accurate census of stellar numbers and ages crucial to understanding the complex star formation process.
This news was brought to you in part by NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA.