Cepheus B

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Chandra X-ray
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Cepheus B: A cloud of molecular hydrogen in the Milky Way about 2,400 light years from Earth.
(Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/PSU/K. Getman et al.); IR (NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA/J. Wang et al.))

Caption: This composite image of X-rays from Chandra (violet) and infrared data from Spitzer (red, green, and blue) reveals a beautiful scene of star formation within our Galaxy. There are hundreds of very young stars inside and around the cloud -- ranging from a few millions years old outside the cloud to less than a million in the interior -- making it an important testing ground for star formation. By combining the data from these two observatories, researchers have shown that radiation from massive stars may trigger the formation of many more stars than previously thought.

Scale: Image is 15 arcmin across.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory