SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Mercury Mystery, Eruption, More

 SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Mercury Mystery, Eruption, More
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October 2, 2009--Like pearls on a cosmic string, cold gas clouds in the Southern Cross constellation reveal intense, unexpected star-making activity in new images from the European Space Agency's Herschel telescope.

Scientists color-coded infrared wavelengths in the images to discern extremely cold material (seen above in faint red) and the surrounding, slightly warmer stuff (seen in blue).

The photos show a "surprising amount of turmoil" as the material in the gas clouds condenses into continuous and interconnected filaments, which glow from light emitted by newborn stars, an ESA statement said.
— Image courtesy ESA and the SPIRE consortium
 
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