W51A is one of the largest and brightest star-forming regions in the Milky Way. It lies 18,000 light-years away in the constellation of Aquila. This image is composed of mid-infrared data from the FORCAST instrument for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST; 20 μm=blue; 37 μm=green), and Herschel far-infrared data (70 μm=red). Colors trace the warm emission from dust that is being heated by the ongoing star formation activity. The star field is from Sloan (0.9 μm).
These data reveal, among other things, a young stellar object of up to ~100 solar masses, a candidate for the most massive young star in the Milky Way. These results demonstrate that FORCAST is a powerful tool to trace deeply embedded massive young stellar objects.