NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured an image revealing different stages of development of stars, right from dusty little tots to young adults.
This cosmic community, coined as the North American nebula, resembles the North American continent when viewed in visible light. However, under Spitzer's infrared view, the continent disappears and instead a swirling landscape of dust and young stars can be seen.
One of the things that make me so excited about this image is how different it is from the visible image, and how much more we can see in the infrared than in the visible, said Luisa Rebull of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in a statement.
Over 2,000 new stars have been identified by the Spitzer Science Center team. The new image reveals the various development stages of the stars, from the early years when it is swaddled in dust to early adulthood, when it has become a young parent to a family of developing planets.
With the help of the image, Rebull and his team are now clearly able to distinguish between the young stars in the complex and the older ones. However, the exact distance of the nebula from the earth remains a mystery.