The Arches Cluster with adaptive optics


Image credit: ESO

The Arches cluster is the most densely packed cluster of young massive stars in the Galaxy and is thought to be a galactic analogue of the starburst phenomena observed in some distant galaxies. It lies near the central supermassive black hole of the Milky Way. Being near the galactic centre it is obscured by dust and therefore not visible at optical wavelengths, but lies towards the centre of the top quarter of the image below. The main image is taken with the NACO instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, in the near-infrared.
Note the field of view above is not more than 56 x 56 arcseconds. The diffuse haloes seen around each stellar image are characteristic of images taken using adaptive optics. Compare the non-AO image (left).



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: