Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2007 September 21
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Coronet in the Southern Crown
Credit: X-ray: NASA/ CXC/CfA/ J.Forbrich et al.; Infrared: NASA/ SSC/CfA/IRAC GTO Team

Explanation: X-rays from young stars and infrared light from stars and cosmic dust are combined in this false color image of a star-forming region in Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. The small star grouping is fittingly known as the Coronet Cluster. A mere 420 light-years distant, the Coronet Cluster offers a relatively close-up view of stars and protostars evolving with a wide range of masses. The observations suggest that energetic x-rays come from the hot, extended stellar atmospheres or coronae of the Coronet stars. The tantalizing multi-wavelength view spans about 2 light-years and was produced using data from the orbiting Chandra Observatory (x-ray) and the Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared).

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