A Tendril of Stars

If you were to squint at this Image of the Week, you might think that you were looking at a plume of sparks and smoke rising from the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), a Program of NSF's NOIRLab. Upon closer inspection, however, the towering column of light and dark patches at the center of this image reveals itself to be the Milky Way. The sooty-looking regions are actually vast swathes of interstellar dust that block the passage of light, giving the illusion of empty regions in the Milky Way.

The telescope in the foreground is the KMTNet 1.6-meter Telescope from the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network. As its name suggests, this telescope is just one of an internationally located network of telescopes — there are also KMTNet telescopes located in South Africa and Australia.

Credit:

CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/B. Tafreshi

About the Image

Id:iotw2148a
Type:Photographic
Release date:Dec. 1, 2021, noon
Size:15297 x 5490 px

About the Object

Category:Cerro Tololo

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