From In the Dark:
I note that the Herschel mission now has its own blog, so I no longer have to try to remember to put all the sexy images on here. However, at the end of a worrying week for UK astronomy, I thought it would be a good idea to put up one of the wonderful new infra-red images of the Milky Way just obtained from Herschel. This is the first composite colour picture made in “parallel mode”, i.e. by using the PACS and SPIRE instruments together. Together the two instruments cover a wavelength range from 70 to 500 microns. The resulting image uses red to represent the cooler long-wavelength emission (seen by SPIRE) and bluer colours show hotter areas. The region of active star formation shown is close to the Galactic plane; detailed images such as this, showing the intricate filamentary structure of the material in this stellar nursery, will help us to understand better how what the complex processes involved in stellar birth.