What You Don't See When You Look at Your Favourite Constellations

By Jamie Condliffe on at

You’ve probably gazed at the constellation of Cygnus on a starry night—it’s distinctive and easy to spot on in the Northern hemisphere. But this is the bit of it you can’t see.

This image from Japan’s Akari space observatory shows the invisible wavelengths of the far-infrared. You’re looking at the central section of Cygnus, but the view here shows plumes of cold space gas and dust, and not the bright starts you’re used to seeing. Views like this help astronomers to understand when and where new stellar bodies form, as the clouds gather together and become more dense. [ESA]

Image by JAXA