Herschel's Cool Universe
The Herschel infrared observatory has an unprecedented view on the cold universe, bridging the gap between what can be observed from the ground and earlier infrared space missions, and bringing to light previously unseenstar-forming regions and galaxies enshrouded in dust.
This artists impression of Herschel is set against an image captured by the observatory, showing baby stars forming in the Rosette nebula. The bright spots are dusty cocoons containing massive forming stars, each one up to ten times the mass of our own sun.
The Rosette nebula resides some 5,000 light-years from Earth and is associated with a larger cloud that contains enough dust and gas to make the equivalent of 10,000 sun-like stars.
The image is a three-color composite made by Herschels Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) and the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) at wavelengths of 70 microns (blue), 160 microns (green) and 250 microns (red).