The distant infrared cameras of the ESA space observatory Herschel were able to detect the formation of gas and dust in the center of the Milky Way. An almost continuous line of dense and cold gas lumps of material forms a symbol of infinity or a figure of eight lying on its side. The structure extends for several hundred light years. In the photo, the bar rotates around an invisible axis that goes deep from the upper left to the lower right edge.
It is believed that the “loop of infinity” reaches an amazing 30 million solar masses and is represented by dense gas and dust at a temperature of 15 degrees above absolute zero. It is transmitted in frame yellow and contrasts with warmer and less dense gas and dust in the galactic center (blue). The surrounding loop is a cool gas, painted in red-brownish colors. The ring and surroundings contain a number of areas of stellar birth and young stars, which are distinguished by a bright blue glow. This part of the Central Molecular Zone is a region in the center of the Milky Way, penetrated by molecular clouds. The galactic center is 30,000 light-years distant from the Sun in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. This is a complex dynamic site with emission nebulae and supernova remnants. Do not forget about the molecular clouds surrounding a supermassive black hole. Gas and dust in this area seem dark in the inspection of the optical telescope, but they are clearly visible with the Herschel telescope.
For shooting used cameras PACS and SPIRE. The first image was published in 2011. Herschel Observatory functioned in 2009-2013.