The ESA’s Planck space telescope has become a kind of galactic prenatal ultrasound device. Read this from the JPL:
The result is a windfall of data on known and never-before-seen cosmic objects. Planck has catalogued approximately 10,000 star-forming “cold cores,” thousands of which are newly discovered. The cores are dark and dusty nurseries where baby stars are just beginning to take shape. They also are some of the coldest places in the universe. Planck’s new catalogue includes some of the coldest cores ever seen, with temperatures as low as seven degrees above absolute zero, or minus 447 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to see the coldest gas and dust in the Milky Way, Planck’s detectors were chilled to only 0.1 Kelvin.
“The Universe,” a wise man once wrote, “is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”
UPDATE: As he’s wont to do, Charlie Martin has totally upstaged me.