This dazzling infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows hundreds of thousands of stars crowded into the swirling core of our spiral Milky Way galaxy. In visible-light pictures, this region cannot be seen at all because dust lying between Earth and the galactic center blocks our view. In this image, old and cool stars are blue, while dust features lit up by hot, massive stars are red. Both bright and dark filamentary clouds can be seen, many of which harbor stellar nurseries. The brightest white spot in the middle is the center of the galaxy, which harbors supermassive black hole.