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10 images from NASA's Spitzer telescope

By: Katherine Butler on Nov. 9, 2011, 9:22 a.m.
reddish image of stars in space

Photo: Spitzer Science Center/California Institute of Technology

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Spitzer reveals stellar family tree

Ever wonder what a family tree of stars might look like? Spitzer gives us a glimpse of cosmic generations through images of W5, the star-forming region. According to NASA, "the oldest stars can be seen as blue dots in the centers of the two hollow cavities (other blue dots are background and foreground stars not associated with the region). Younger stars line the rims of the cavities, and some can be seen as dots at the tips of the elephant-trunk-like pillars. The white knotty areas are where the youngest stars are forming."