In this image, the center of our Milky Way galaxy is the bright spot at the center, and the Galactic Plane runs horizontally across the image. Infrared light can peer through the dense obscuring dust that hides the Galactic center from optical telescopes, showing us the thermal emission from the cool dust in HII regions and molecular clouds. The resolution of this MSX image is about 15 times better than the previous best infrared observation taken by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS).
For this false-color Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) composite, the 8.28 Ám band was mapped to the blue channel, the green channel is a combination of the 12.13 Ám band and the 14.65 Ám band, and the 21.3 Ám band was mapped to the red channel. This image covers about 4.5 x 1.5 degrees in the sky.