December 5, 2009
This impressive image of the open cluster known as Trumpler 14 was obtained with the Multi-conjugate Adaptive optics Demonstrator (MAD) mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope. The cluster, which is found to be only 500 000 years old â€” a blink of an eye in the Universe's history â€” resides at the outskirts of the central region of the Carina Nebula, located some 8000 light-years away towards the constellation of Carina (the Keel). Trumpler 14 is not only the youngest, but also one of the most populous clusters within the nebula. Astronomers counted about 2000 stars in the very central parts of this cluster. The MAD instrument allows astronomers to obtain very sharp images over a wide area and this image is the adaptive optics image that so far covers the widest area on the sky. The field of view is about 2 arcminutes across and the image is based on data obtained through two different filters (K and H).
Topics: Technology Internet, Stars, Carina constellation, Astronomy, Adaptive optics, Astrology, Carina, Carina Nebula, Open clusters, Environment