This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows what astronomers are referring to as a "snake" (upper left) and its surrounding stormy environment. This object is actually the core of a thick, sooty cloud dozens of times larger than our solar systems. In fact, astronomers say the "snake's belly" may be harboring new stars in the process of forming. The red ball at the bottom left is a "supernova remnant," the remains of massive star that died in a fiery blast. The snake is located about 11,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Carey (SSC/Caltech)