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Four-Panel Zoom into the Galactic Core

This four-panel graphic zooms into the Hubble Space Telescope view of the galactic core. The first panel shows a wide view of the Milky Way in visible light. The second panel, which zooms into the boxed area in the first panel, shows interstellar dust obscuring much of the view of the core. The third panel zooms in yet again, but the view shifts to infrared light that penetrates the dust and exposes the core. Finally, the fourth panel is a close-up of the galactic core as seen in infrared by the Hubble Space Telescope. The locator mark in the middle designates the galaxy's nucleus, which is home to a central, supermassive black hole.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)
Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, A. Fujii, Digitized Sky Survey (DSS), STScI/AURA, Palomar/Caltech, UKSTU/AAO, NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Stolovy (Spitzer Science Center/Caltech), the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), T. Do and A. Ghez (UCLA), and V. Bajaj (STScI)