The Milky Way Project Talk

Colors in infrared images

  • gwolfchase by gwolfchase scientist

    Remember these aren't visible light images; here, the representative colors depict different wavelengths of infrared light. If this were a visible light image, you might associate red with emission from hydrogen and green with oxygen, but that's not what the colors represent here. A lot of what you see that is colored green comes from complex organic molecules known as PAHs, and red is associated with warm dust. So, this is a great example of an incomplete bubble. Towards the top, the bubble is probably expanding into a less dense medium, and towards the bottom, the compact "yellowballs" and red objects are probably protostars. We're especially interested in finding regions like this, where very young stars are located near the peripheries of bubbles, as they may be examples of star formation being triggered by the expanding bubble