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

Published: January 26, 2020 at 1:20 pm
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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.


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.

Did you know that the Milky Way galaxy is due to merge with the nearby Andromeda Galaxy in the future? Find out more in our guide to the Andromeda-Milky Way collision.

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Observatory Very Large Telescope

Release date 16 December 2019


Image credit ESO/Nogueras-Lara et al.


Jane Williamson is a science journalist and writer.

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