The diffuse, fog-like glow surrounding the dusty central disk is created by billions and billions of stars. It still amazes me to think that such a gentle glow is actually the work of so many stars, which, individually and up close, are anything but gentle and soft. The mostly red and some blueish smudges and spheres are many background galaxies with their own billions of stars.
Processing of these types of galaxy is actually quite tedious. If I’m not careful, bands of color will appear where they shouldn’t be which would lead to a deceptively processed image.
Hubble data is public domain, but I put a lot of work into combining it into beautiful color images. The minimal credit line should read: NASA / ESA / J. Schmidt
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.