Not the Hoagy Carmichael tune. The real dust out among the stars. The European Space Agency Planck Space Telescope‘s ability to measure the temperature of the coldest dust particles provides a better understanding of the physical processes at play in the spaces between stars, and in regions of star formation.
This image covers a portion of the sky about 50 degrees square. It is a false-color combination constructed from Planck‘s two highest frequency channels (557 and 857 Gigahertz, corresponding to wavelengths of 540 and 350 µm), and an image obtained at 100 µm with NASA’s Infrared Astronomical Satellite. Red corresponds to temperatures as cold 12° above absolute zero, and white to significantly warmer ones (on order a few tens of degrees) in regions where massive stars are currently forming. These dust structures “local” within 500 light-years of the sun.
Image Credit: ESA/NASA