Online Full Resolution Videos

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Triggered Star Formation

This animation illustrates the process of triggered star formation. First, a massive star in its final death throes explodes or "goes supernova," shooting a shock wave through surrounding clouds of gas and dust. Next, the shock wave compresses the gas and dust, gravity kicks in, and finally, a new wave of stars is born. The whole progression, from the death of one star to the birth of others, takes millions of years to complete. (14.3 Mb)

Tarantula Nebula

NASA's new Spitzer Space Telescope has captured in stunning detail the spidery filaments and newborn stars of the Tarantula Nebula, a rich star-forming region also known as 30 Doradus. In this animation the infrared structures seen by this new observatory are compared with a visible light image from the ground-based European Southern Observatory (ESO) to highlight the power of Spitzer to see what other telescopes cannot. (22.1 Mb)

Henize 206

Starting with a wide view of the environment surrounding the Henize 206 star formation region, the animation moves in to the heart of the nebula. The view slides from visible light wavelengths to Infrared Array Camera wavelengths, spanning 3 to 8 microns. The colors of the image, which are false for infrared wavelengths, shift to include the Multiband Imaging Photometer image, now covering 3 to 24 microns. Finally, the 24 micron image is presented alone to better show the warm dust throughout the region and the bright knots associated with the formation of new stars. (13.3 Mb)

Messier 81

In this animation, an "infrared spotlight" is used to highlight differences between a visible-light image of Messier 81 and the Spitzer/MIPS+IRAC infrared view. (21.3 Mb)