The centre of the Milky Way galaxy was captured in a stunning photo taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. According to the space agency, it will be able to take better and more detailed photos of Milky Way and other cosmic regions through the James Webb Space Telescope, which will serve as the successor of Spitzer.
In a recent press release, NASA showed off the latest image captured by Spitzer, which highlights the vibrant infrared lights emitted by the various cosmic objects in the centre of Milky Way. The space telescope was able to capture the infrared light's reddish hue using its special cameras that can detect wavelengths not visible to the human eye.
One of the most impressive images that Spitzer was able to capture in its latest photo is the supermassive black hole sitting at the centre of Milky Way. The black hole, which appears like a bright spotlight in the middle of the photo, is surrounded by millions of stars that are moving across the cosmic dust and clouds.
"The center of our galaxy is a crowded place," NASA said in a statement. "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," the agency added. "Yet much of this activity is hidden from our view, obscured by vast swaths of interstellar dust."
Although Spitzer is already able to capture stunning photos of space, NASA noted that it will be able to take better photos using the James Webb Space Telescope. The James Webb might officially replace Spitzer once it launches sometime in 2020.
According to the agency, the upcoming space telescope will feature powerful lenses and cameras that are capable of viewing infrared light. With the new telescope, NASA will be able to provide high-quality photos of various objects in space, including those that are hidden behind cosmic clouds.
"The centre of our Milky Way is hidden from the prying eyes of optical telescopes by obscuring dust and gas," NASA stated. "But in this stunning vista, the Spitzer Space Telescope's Infrared Cameras penetrate much of the dust, revealing the stars of the crowded galactic centre region."
"The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will offer a much-improved infrared view, teasing out fainter stars and sharper details," the agency continued.