The Spatial Infrared Imaging Telescope , SPIRIT III , Was The Primary Instrument ...

The Spatial Infrared Imaging Telescope , SPIRIT III , Was The Primary Instrument ...

  Stockphoto ID: 521919

File name: 2mass_msx_gc-LOW.jpg
Format: digital, 6000+ pixels longest side
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Source: photo agency Based in: United States

Description: The Spatial Infrared Imaging Telescope , SPIRIT III , was the primary instrument for gathering mid infrared data during the Midcourse Space Experiment ( MSX ) mission One of the main targets for MSX and a fascinating target for 2MASS is the Galactic Center This image is a composite of 2MASS J ( blue ) , Ks ( green ) , and MSX Band A ( 6 11 ┬Ám red ) imaging of this region ( the 2MASS image mosaic has been binned to 2 2 pixels ) The Galactic plane runs horizontally along the image , and the Galactic center is the bright ( yellow ) object near the middle The infrared can peer through the dense obscuring dust that hides the Galactic center in the optical The near infrared is sensitive to the photospheric emission from the very large number of , particularly cooler , stars seen toward this region , and also gives us a glimpse of the mass of stars and gas that comprise the very center of the Milky Way The mid infrared is ideal for measuring the thermal emission from the cool dust in nebular ionized ( H II ) regions and molecular clouds , producing the extended clumpy and filamentary emission surrounding the center Although MSX Band A is still sensitive to stellar emission , the cool extended emission becomes apparent , relative to the 2MASS bands , and the Galactic center becomes more obvious Even with the penetrating power of these infrared wavelengths , however , large holes can be seen throughout the image , where no emission in any of these bands can emerge from objects behind the dark dust 2MASS Image mosaic and 2MASS MSX image combination by E Kopan ( IPAC )

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