Latest Star cluster Stories

Image 1 - Milky Way’s Companions May Spell Trouble For Dark Matter
2012-04-25 07:46:27

Astronomers from the University of Bonn in Germany have discovered a vast structure of satellite galaxies and clusters of stars surrounding our Galaxy, stretching out across a million light years. The work challenges the existence of dark matter, part of the standard model for the evolution of the universe. PhD student and lead author Marcel Pawlowski reports the team´s findings in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The Milky Way, the galaxy we...

Image 1 - Venus Invades the Pleiades
2012-04-03 03:00:29

Watch out Seven Sisters, Venus is coming. This week the second planet from the sun will pass directly in front of the Pleiades star cluster. It's a rare sunset conjunction that's easy to find with the unaided eye, but best seen through binoculars or a small telescope. The action began on Monday evening, April 2nd, when Venus enters the outskirts of the little dipper-shaped asterism. Look west at sunset for Venus--it's the brightest thing around--then scan the area using binoculars. The...

Ultra-compact Dwarf Galaxies Are Similar To Bright Star Clusters
2011-12-19 12:04:58

Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a new statistical study of the so-called 'ultra-compact dwarf galaxies' (UCDs), which are still mysterious objects. A team of astronomers has investigated how many of these UCDs exist in nearby galaxy clusters and groups. They show that the properties of UCDs match those of bright star clusters. Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing the results of a detailed investigation of how many 'ultra-compact dwarf galaxies' (UCDs) can be found in...

2011-05-26 09:56:00

Cheryl Gundy, STSCI NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found a rare class of oddball stars called blue stragglers in the hub of our Milky Way, the first detected within our galaxy's bulge. Blue stragglers are so named because they seemingly lag behind in the aging process, appearing younger than the population from which they formed. While they have been detected in many distant star clusters, and among nearby stars, they never have been seen inside the core of our galaxy. It is not clear how...

2010-12-22 06:20:00

New observations by University of Michigan astronomers add weight to the theory that the most massive stars in the universe could form essentially anywhere, including in near isolation; they don't need a large stellar cluster nursery. This is the most detailed observational study to date of massive stars that appear (from the ground) to be alone. The scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to zoom in on eight of these giants, which range from 20 to 150 times as massive as the Sun. The...

2010-12-08 09:55:00

We know of about 150 of the rich collections of old stars called globular clusters that orbit our galaxy, the Milky Way. This sharp new image of Messier 107, captured by the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, displays the structure of one such globular cluster in exquisite detail. Studying these stellar swarms has revealed much about the history of our galaxy and how stars evolve. The globular cluster Messier 107, also known as NGC 6171, is a...

2010-11-19 08:29:15

Researchers from Bonn and St. Andrews provide an explanation for the discrepancy New stars are born in the Universe around the clock "“ in the Milky Way, currently about ten per year. From the birth rate in the past, we can generally calculate how populated space should actually be. But the problem is that the results of such calculations do not match our actual observations. "There should actually be a lot more stars that we can see," says Dr. Jan Pflamm-Altenburg, astrophysicist at...

2010-10-26 10:20:00

The globular star cluster Omega Centauri has caught the attention of sky watchers ever since the ancient astronomer Ptolemy first catalogued it 2,000 years ago. Ptolemy, however, thought Omega Centauri was a single star. He didn't know that the "star" was actually a beehive swarm of nearly 10 million stars, all orbiting a common center of gravity. The stars are so tightly crammed together that astronomers had to wait for the powerful vision of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to peer deep into...

2010-07-06 10:45:00

Like a July 4 fireworks display a young, glittering collection of stars looks like an aerial burst. The cluster is surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust - the raw material for new star formation. The nebula, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, contains a central cluster of huge, hot stars, called NGC 3603. This environment is not as peaceful as it looks. Ultraviolet radiation and violent stellar winds have blown out an enormous cavity in the gas and dust...

2010-06-02 09:20:00

By exploiting the exquisite image quality of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and comparing two observations made ten years apart astronomers have, for the first time, managed to measure the tiny motions of several hundred young stars within the central cluster of the star-forming region NGC 3603. The team was surprised to find that the stars are moving in ways that are at odds with the current understanding of how such clusters evolve. The stars in the cluster have not "settled down" as...

Latest Star cluster Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Omega Centauri -- Discovered by Edmond Halley in 1677. About 10 million stars orbit the center of this globular cluster - named Omega Centauri - as this giant globular cluster orbits our Galactic center. Recent evidence indicates that Omega Centauri is by far the most massive of the about 150 known globular clusters in the Milky Way. Omega Centauri, cataloged as NGC 5139, spans about 150 light years across, lies about 15,000 light years away, and can be seen without visual aid...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

The Hyades -- The Hyades are an open star cluster located in the constellation Taurus. The closest star cluster to Earth, it is centered some 151 light years away. The brightest star in this direction is Aldebaran, but it is not a member of the cluster, being located at just over 40% of the distance. Not counting Aldebaran, approximately 300 stars are known or suspected to be members of the cluster; most are not visible to the naked eye. The stars of the Hyades are associated with one...

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