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Resembling an opulent diamond tapestry, this image
from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows a glittering star cluster that
contains a collection of some of the brightest stars seen in our Milky
Way galaxy. Credits: NASA, ESA, and J. Maíz Apellániz
(Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, Spain), Acknowledgment: N.
Smith (University of Arizona)
Resembling an opulent diamond tapestry, this image from NASA’s Hubble
Space Telescope shows a glittering star cluster that contains a
collection of some of the brightest stars seen in our Milky Way galaxy.
Called Trumpler 14, it is located 8,000 light-years away in the Carina
Nebula, a huge star-formation region. Because the cluster is only
500,000 years old, it has one of the highest concentrations of massive,
luminous stars in the entire Milky Way. The small, dark knot left of
center is a nodule of gas laced with dust, and seen in silhouette.
These blue-white stars are burning their hydrogen fuel so ferociously
they will explode as supernovae in just a few million years. The
combination of outflowing stellar “winds” and, ultimately, supernova
blast waves will carve out cavities in nearby clouds of gas and dust.
These fireworks will kick-start the beginning of a new generation of
stars in an ongoing cycle of star birth and death.
This composite image of Trumpler 14 was made with data taken in
2005-2006 with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. Blue, visible and
infrared broadband filters combine with filters that isolate hydrogen
and nitrogen emission from the glowing gas surrounding the open cluster.
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