New observations with ESO‘s Very Large Telescope demonstrate the star cluster RCW 38 in the entirety of its glory. This picture was taken amid testing of the HAWK-I camera with the GRAAL versatile optics system. It demonstrates RCW 38 and its encompassing clouds of brilliantly shining gas in perfect detail, with dark tendrils of residue threading through the splendid center of this young gathering of stars.
This picture demonstrates the star cluster RCW 38, as caught by the HAWK-I infrared imager mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. By looking into infrared wavelengths, HAWK-I can inspect dust-covered star clusters like RCW 38, giving an unparalleled perspective of the stars framing inside. This bunch contains many youthful, hot, huge stars, and lies around 5500 light-years away in the group of stars of Vela.
The central area of RCW 38 is obvious here as a bright, blue-tinted locale, a zone possessed by various exceptionally youthful stars and protostars that are still in the process of forming. The serious radiation spilling out from these recently conceived stars causes the encompassing gas to shine brightly.
This is in stark contrast to the streams of cooler cosmic dust winding through the region, which glow gently in dark shades of red and orange. The contrast creates this spectacular scene — a piece of celestial artwork.
Past pictures of this area taken in optical wavelengths are strikingly extraordinary — optical pictures seem emptier of stars because of residue and gas hindering our perspective of the cluster. Perceptions in the infrared, in any case, enable us to peer through the residue that clouds the view in the optical and dig into the core of this star cluster.
HAWK- I am introduced on Unit Telescope 4 (Yepun) of the VLT, and works at close infrared wavelengths. It has numerous logical parts, including acquiring pictures of nearby universes or extensive nebulae and in addition singular stars and exoplanets. GRAAL is a versatile optics module which causes HAWK-I to deliver these staggering pictures. It makes utilization of four laser bars anticipated into the night sky, which go about as artificial reference stars.
This image was captured as part of a series of test observations — a process known as science verification — for HAWK-I and GRAAL. These tests are an integral part of the commissioning of a new instrument on the VLT and include a set of typical scientific observations that verify and demonstrate the capabilities of the new instrument.