August 23, 1997
Explanation: Stars sometimes form in colourful ways. Pictured above is a small region in the nearby LMC galaxy where stars are forming. After a star is born, it may do several things to energize its immediate neighbourhood. It may develop a strong wind which pushes away nearby gas; it may be so hot and intense that emitted light boils away nearby dust and gas, and it may be so massive that it soon goes supernova and catapults its elements back to the interstellar medium. Astronomers study regions like this - named DEM192 - to better understand how these and other processes proceed. This picture is a composite of three separate photographs, each sensitive to only one specific colour of light - a colour that distinguishes a specific chemical element.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.