Herschel is the largest astronomical telescope placed in space and was launched last year. The European Space Agency released some notes on the first few pictures sent by Herschel.

One of them is this star forming cloud called RCW 120 in the Milky Way.

RCW 120 (from ESA)

Interestingly, Herschel is being used to actually count star birth zones in space.

Using its unprecedented resolution and sensitivity, Herschel is conducting a census of star-forming regions in our Galaxy. “Before Herschel, it was not clear how the material in the Milky Way came together in high enough densities and at sufficiently low temperatures to form stars,” says Sergio Molinari, Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario, Roma.

The one above in the picture will become one of the largest stars in the Milky Way galaxy a few hundred thousand years later.

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