Latest Star cluster Stories

2009-12-15 09:20:00

Just in time for the holidays: a Hubble Space Telescope picture postcard of hundreds of brilliant blue stars wreathed by warm, glowing clouds. The festive portrait is the most detailed view of the largest stellar nursery in our local galactic neighborhood. The massive, young stellar grouping, called R136, is only a few million years old and resides in the 30 Doradus Nebula, a turbulent star-birth region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. There is no...

2009-09-16 11:15:00

In a break from its usual task of searching for distant cosmic explosions, NASA's Swift satellite has acquired the highest-resolution view of a neighboring spiral galaxy ever attained in the ultraviolet. The galaxy, known as M31 in the constellation Andromeda, is the largest and closest spiral galaxy to our own. "Swift reveals about 20,000 ultraviolet sources in M31, especially hot, young stars and dense star clusters," said Stefan Immler, a research scientist on the Swift team at NASA's...

2009-06-04 06:20:00

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have obtained one of the sharpest views ever of the Arches Cluster "” an extraordinary dense cluster of young stars near the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way. Despite the extreme conditions astronomers were surprised to find the same proportions of low- and high-mass young stars in the cluster as are found in more tranquil locations in our Milky Way. The massive Arches Cluster is a rather peculiar star cluster. It is...

2009-04-29 10:20:00

It sounds like the plot of a sci-fi movie: rogue black holes roaming our galaxy, threatening to swallow anything that gets too close. In fact, new calculations by Ryan O'Leary and Avi Loeb (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) suggest that hundreds of massive black holes, left over from the galaxy-building days of the early universe, may wander the Milky Way. Good news, however: Earth is safe. The closest rogue black hole should reside thousands of light-years away. Astronomers are...

2009-02-24 09:39:37

On long, dark winter nights, the constellation of Orion the Hunter dominates the sky. Within the Hunter's sword, the Orion Nebula swaddles a cluster of newborn stars called the Trapezium. These stars are young but powerful, each one shining with the brilliance of 100,000 Suns. They are also massive, containing 15 to 30 times as much material as the Sun. Where did the Trapezium stars come from? The question is not as simple as it seems. When it comes to the theory of how massive stars form,...

2008-12-16 08:25:00

The festive season has arrived for astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the form of this dramatic new image. It shows the swirling gas around the region known as NGC 2264 "” an area of sky that includes the sparkling blue baubles of the Christmas Tree star cluster. NGC 2264 lies about 2600 light-years from Earth in the obscure constellation of Monoceros, the Unicorn, not far from the more familiar figure of Orion, the Hunter. The image shows a region of space about...

2008-04-02 09:40:00

Omega Centauri has been known as an unusual globular cluster for a long time. A new result obtained by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Observatory reveals that the explanation behind omega Centauri's peculiarities may be a black hole hidden in its center. One implication of the discovery is that it is very likely that omega Centauri is not a globular cluster at all, but a dwarf galaxy stripped of its outer stars, as some scientists have suspected for a few years.Omega...

2007-10-02 00:45:00

The gigantic nebula NGC 3603 hosts one of the most prominent, massive, young clusters in the Milky Way. Hubble has been observing this prime location for star formation studies. NGC 3603 is located in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way, about 20 000 light-years from the Solar System. Images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope show a young star cluster surrounded by a vast region of dust and gas. Most of the bright stars in the image are hot, blue stars. They produce ultraviolet...

2007-04-12 16:33:04

The Seven Sisters, also known as the Pleiades, seem to float on a bed of feathers in a new infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Clouds of dust sweep around the stars, swaddling them in a cushiony veil. The view is quite different from what you might see if you look out to the west shortly after dusk. Right now, the famous family of stars is "stepping out" in the evening skies with a very bright and dazzling Venus. During the period from around April 10 to 13, the Pleiades...

2007-04-11 16:00:00

Venus Express, Europe's first mission to Venus, has now successfully orbited our closest neighbour 355 times during the past year. Coincidentally on its first anniversary on 11 April, Venus and the constellation Pleiades are very close in the sky, for your viewing pleasure. The celestial spectacle is clearly visible with the naked eye "“ provided that there are no clouds to cover it. Venus and Pleiades can be seen drawing closer together in the western sky; after sunset and before...

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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Word of the Day
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.