May 3 (UPI) -- A photo taken by the European Southern Observatory's VISTA Telescope show millions of stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy and offer insights on star formation.
The observatory in Chile looked at infrared radiation from the dust-filled Cloud, one of the closest galaxies in the Milky Way.
The method, using the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope, or VISTA, allows more visibility, with the dust obstructing less infrared light than visible light. An image released Wednesday by ESO showed the Cloud contains millions of stars, as well as offering exceptional detail of the Cloud, which is about 200,000 light years away, unimpeded by dust.
The Small Magellanic Cloud and its companion Large Magellanic Cloud are irregularly shaped dwarf galaxies, and are visible to the naked eye in the Southern Hemisphere.
Analysis of the images, led by Stefano Rubele of Italy's University of Padova, reveals that most stars in the Cloud were formed more recently than other nearby galaxies.