This image is a composite mid and far-infrared intensity observed by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) in 12, 60, and 100 micron wavelength bands. The images are encoded in the blue, green, and red color ranges, respectively. Most of the emission is thermal, from interstellar dust warmed by absorbed starlight, including that in star-forming regions embedded in interstellar clouds. The image here is a mosaic of IRAS Sky Survey Atlas plates; emission from interplanetary dust in the solar system, the "zodiacal emission," was modeled and subtracted in the production of the Atlas.
To view zoomed sections of this image click on the image above - Astrophysics Data Facility Link