Planck reveals Star Formation processes

Planck view of Orion
Image credit: ESA / HFI and LFI Consortia

New images from Planck reveal the gas and dust between the stars and isolate the physical processes at work in our Galaxy. The new images are an eye-catching by-product of a spacecraft designed to look back at the earliest light in the Universe.

Our Galaxy, the Milky Way, is home to billions of stars, laced through with clouds of gas and dust known as the interstellar medium. In visible light most of the newly born stars are hidden by clouds of tiny dust particles dispersed between the stars. When observed at much longer wavelengths, where the Cosmic Microwave Background can be seen, the picture is very different. The dust is no longer a dark shroud, but shines out in its own right, and new aspects of our Galaxy are revealed.

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