Galactic Centre in JHK

A 'true-colour' mosaic of the centre of our Galaxy taken in July 1999 through the near-infrared J, H, and K band filters (30 second exposures per filter). The image covers a region extending approximately 7.5'x4.5'. The figure clearly illustrates the vast number of stars visible towards the centre of the Milky Way. The dark patches scattered throughout the region represent areas of higher obscuration or 'extinction' due to clouds of gas and dust (rather than patches where there are no stars!).

Credit: Antonio Chrysostomou (University of Hertfordshire, UK)