Fantastic images of galaxies give insight into star formation

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Astronomers have succeeded in taking spectacular images of the “nursery of stars”.

As the European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced on Friday, they were taken with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in the Atacama Desert in Chile. They show nearby galaxies that resemble colorful cosmic fireworks. Astronomers could use the images to pinpoint the positions of young stars and the gas surrounding them.

The researchers say they want to better understand what triggers a star birth. This could be helped by the new images in combination with already known data. “We can directly observe the gas that gives birth to stars, we see the young stars themselves, and we witness their evolution through different phases,” said ESO astronomer Eric Emsellem. The European Southern Observatory is headquartered in Garching near Munich.

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