ESO Photo Release | VISTA | 2023 Jan 04
A myriad of stars is revealed behind the faint orange glow of the Sh2-54 nebula in this new infrared image. Located in the constellation Serpens, this stunning stellar nursery has been captured in all its intricate detail using the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) based at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile.Image Credit: ESO/VVVX/VISTA
When the ancients looked up at the night sky they saw random patterns in the stars. The Greeks, for instance, named one of these “constellations” Serpens, because of its resemblance to a snake. What they wouldn’t have been able to see is that at the tail end of this constellation there is a wealth of stunning astronomical objects. These include the Eagle, the Omega and the Sh2-54 nebulae; the last of these is revealed, in a new light, in this spectacular infrared image. ...
This image was captured in infrared light using the sensitive 67-million-pixel camera on ESO’s VISTA telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile. It was taken as part of the VVVX survey — the VISTA Variables in the Via Láctea eXtended survey. This is a multi-year project that has repeatedly observed a large portion of the Milky Way at infrared wavelengths, providing key data to understand stellar evolution.