NASA was able to capture a stunning image of the center of the Milky Way galaxy using its Spitzer Space Telescope. According to the agency, it will be able to take much better photos of space through Spitzer’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope.

The latest photo taken using Spitzer shows a vibrant image of the galaxy’s center. The vibrant reddish hues were captured using the telescope’s special cameras that can detect infrared light, which is not visible to the human eye.

The photo shows the various infrared wavelengths emitted by the different cosmic objects such as stars, gas and dust.

“The center of our Milky Way is hidden from the prying eyes of optical telescopes by obscuring dust and gas,” NASA said in a statement. “But in this stunning vista, the Spitzer Space Telescope’s Infrared Cameras penetrate much of the dust, revealing the stars of the crowded galactic center region.”

“The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will offer a much-improved infrared view, teasing out fainter stars and sharper details,” the agency added.

Milky Way Center
The center of the Milky Way galaxy captured by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. NASA, JPL-Caltech, Susan Stolovy (SSC/Caltech) et al.

According to NASA, the Milky Way’s galactic center is filled with various cosmic objects including a black hole that’s four million times more massive as the Sun. All around it are fast-moving stars that push away clouds of dust and gas as they zip through.

“The center of our galaxy is a crowded place,” the agency stated. “A black hole weighing 4 million times as much as our Sun is surrounded by millions of stars whipping around it at breakneck speeds.”

“This extreme environment is bathed in intense ultraviolet light and X-ray radiation,” NASA continued. “Yet much of this activity is hidden from our view, obscured by vast swaths of interstellar dust.”

Although the image taken by Spitzer is already very impressive and beautiful, NASA noted that it will be able to take higher quality photos following the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, which is expected to take place sometime in 2020.

NASA explained that the James Webb is specifically designed to view space in infrared light. Through the telescope’s cameras, the agency will be able to peer through cosmic dust and clouds to capture stunning images of hidden regions in space.