This two-colour composite image shows the surrounding region of the stellar nursery IRC4954/4955 Nebula taken by AKARI at 9 and 18 micrometre wavelengths. The size of this image corresponds to 150 light years. The brightest region in this figure is IC4954/4955.
The white dots in the image are infrared stars. The apparent distinct hollow in the middle of the image is about a hundred light years in diameter. It is suspected that an even earlier, first generation star (the ‘grandparent’) formed around several to ten million years ago, inducing the star formation of the second generation including the IC4954/4955 region. This is how AKARI data encompasses the cycle of star formation over three complete generations, over spatial scales of one to a hundred light years, in infrared light.