Earlier this year, Spitzer captured this image of one of the youngest groupings of stars in the Milky Way. Called the Serpens Cloud Core, these stars lurk about 750 light-years from Earth in the Serpens constellation.
In addition to being young, the stars in the Serpens Cloud Core are also, generally speaking, low-mass, which means they lack the bells and whistles more famous star forming regions, like the Orion and Taurus Molecular Clouds, are known for. Instead of bright, blue-white stars, that grow to be immensely large and are short-lived, these stars generally hang between our Sun and red dwarfs in size.
They still yield valuable clues into stellar evolution, especially the first stages that proceed the formation of a new star. Specifically, the stars in question are in the very first stage of development, and in this image, they are represented by different colors: orange, red, and yellow.
According to NASA:
The image itself was taken during Spitzer’s “warm mission” phase, which began in May of 2009, after the revolutionary infrared observatory consumed the remainder of its liquid coolant supply. (See a larger image here)