Very Large Telescope views the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy

The VLT's extraordinary vision is helping astronomers learn more about star formation in our own Galaxy

A view of the centre of the Milky Way by the Very Large Telescope. Credit ESO/Nogueras-Lara et al.

A violent but prolific period of star formation is revealed in this image by the VLT’s near-infrared HAWK-I instrument.

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Around 1,000 lightyears across, this super-dense region of the central Milky Way, teeming with stars, gas and dust, represents a period one billion years ago when, following several billion years of relative dormancy, millions of suns were formed in our Galaxy and 100,000 supernovae exploded.

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Observatory Very Large Telescope

Release date 16 December 2019

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Image credit ESO/Nogueras-Lara et al.