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Herschel Takes You On A Galactic Tour With Stunning New Panorama Of Milky Way

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Go on a galactic tour with the Herschel Space Observatory and see stunning panoramic views of the Milky Way in the comforts of your home.

The European Space Agency (ESA) released a video taken from the Herschel Space Observatory showing the sophisticated detail of dust, gas, and star-forming centers in the Milky Way.

The 10-minute recording is a compilation of 900 hours of space observations by Herschel scientists. The mission team involved in the Herschel Infrared Galactic Plane Survey (Hi-GAL) has put together 70 individual maps making up the entire panorama that displays but just 2 percent of the entire sky. Despite its brief five-year working life, the observatory was able to cover as much as 40 percent of the whole central plane of Milky Way, which is home to hundreds of thousands of star formations.

Taken from the Orion Spur of the Perseus spiral arm vantage point, the intricacy of the interstellar material interspersed against the wealth of emerging nebulas with stellar nurseries, concentrations of matter arranged in thread-like filaments, and bright spots of young stars can be seen by viewers.

Bubbling nebulas, first recorded by British astronomer William Herschel, were also visible in the panorama. A new composite image of the Bubble Nebula or NGC 7635 was released by Hubble Heritage Team to celebrate Hubble Space Telescope's 26th year.

The stunning views also captured an inventory of the process of star formation. Individual images also revealed stellar jewels such as Cat's Paw Nebula, Eagle Nebula, and the War and Peace Nebula. The nebulas host nurseries of young stars that emit bright lights and carve out cavities of cosmic dust.

Stunning interstellar views were captured by Herschel and made visible using sub-millimeter and infrared light wavelengths to identify cosmic dust glow, which is an important mixture where stars are born.

"The Hi-GAL maps and catalogues provide a complete census of stellar nurseries in the inner Galaxy," said Göran PIlbratt, ESA's Herschel Project Scientist.

ESA has released the video to help spawn more interstellar evolution and distribution studies.

You can watch the stunning video below.

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