Hubble image shows the birth of a star cluster in the Milky Way

Hyperaxion Jul 3, 2020

Hubble and ALMA telescopes were able to capture the birth of multiple stars 8,000 light-years from Earth.

An impressive image of the birth of a star cluster was captured by two important telescopes: NASA’s Hubble and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. The group of “baby stars” is formally known as G286.21+0.17. The stunning spectacle resembles fireworks.

Hubble image shows the birth of a star cluster in the Milky Way
Star cluster G286.21+0.17 during its formation. (Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Y. Cheng et al.; NRAO/AUI/NSF, S. Dagnello; NASA/ESA Hubble).

Most of the stars in the Universe, including the Sun, were born in large clusters of stars. The new cluster is located in the constellation Carina, about 8,000 light-years away. The captured image is basically a mosaic of several wavelengths made up of more than 750 observations with ALMA and nine infrared images from Hubble.

The structures that resemble fireworks are actually dense clouds made of molecular gas. The ALMA telescope observed the movements of the turbulent gas falling into the cluster, forming dense nuclei that create individual stars; and Hubble revealed a large group of stars emerging from one side of the cloud. “This image shows stars in various stages of formation within this single cluster,” said Yu Cheng, of the University of Virginia, in the United States, in a statement.

(Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Y. Cheng et al.; NRAO/AUI/NSF, S. Dagnello; NASA/ESA Hubble).

All of this shows that the birth of stars is not a simple process, but “dynamic and chaotic”, according to Jonathan Tan, co-author of the study. Now, from these observations, scientists will be able to better understand this and other fundamental processes in the Universe.

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