Latest Star clusters Stories

2006-10-24 10:33:27

Imagine trying to understand how a football game works based on just a few fuzzy snapshots of the game in play. Astronomers have faced this challenge when it comes to understanding the dynamics of the beehive swarm of stars in the globular star clusters that orbit our Milky Way Galaxy. Now, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has provided astronomers with the best observational evidence to date that globular clusters sort out stars according to their mass, governed by a gravitational billiard ball...

2006-10-17 14:30:00

A new Hubble image of the Antennae galaxies is the sharpest yet of this merging pair of galaxies. As the two galaxies smash together, thousand of millions of stars are born, mostly in groups and clusters of stars. The Universe is an all-action arena for some of the largest, most slowly evolving and surprising processes known to mankind. A new picture taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), onboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the best ever view of the Antennae...

2006-10-03 08:54:55

VLT Presents Evidence for Mass Transfer as Origin of some Blue Straggler Stars Astronomers have found possible proofs of stellar vampirism in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, they found that some hot, bright, and apparently young stars in the cluster present less carbon and oxygen than the majority of their sisters. This indicates that these few stars likely formed by taking their material from another star. "This is the first detection of a chemical...

2006-08-17 12:45:18

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered what astronomers are reporting as the dimmest stars ever seen in any globular star cluster. Globular clusters are spherical concentrations of hundreds of thousands of stars. These clusters formed early in the 13.7-billion-year-old universe. The cluster NGC 6397 is one of the closest globular star clusters to Earth. Seeing the whole range of stars in this area will yield insights into the age, origin, and evolution of the cluster. Although...

2006-06-10 09:45:00

A long, slender stream of ancient stars has been discovered racing across the northern sky. The stream is about 30,000 light-years distant from Earth and is flowing high over the Milky Way Galaxy at some 230 kilometers per second, or more than half a million miles per hour. The discovery was made by Dr. Carl Grillmair, of the Spitzer Science Center in Pasadena, Calif. and his colleague Odysseas Dionatos from the Astronomical Observatory of Rome. Grillmair presented his findings at the...

2006-04-05 11:26:51

A study of the Universe's most massive galaxy clusters has shown that mergers play a vital role in their evolution.  Astronomers at Oxford University and the Gemini Observatory used a combination of data from the twin Gemini Telescopes, located in Hawaii and Chile, and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to study populations of stars in the Universe's most massive galaxy clusters over a range of epochs "“ the earliest being half the age of the Universe.  The HST images were...

2006-02-07 07:03:25

VLT Study Reveals Troubled Past of Globular Cluster Messier 12 ESO -- Based on observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope, a team of Italian astronomers reports [1] that the stellar cluster Messier 12 must have lost to our Milky Way galaxy close to one million low-mass stars. "In the solar neighbourhood and in most stellar clusters, the least massive stars are the most common, and by far", said Guido De Marchi (ESA), lead author of the study. "Our observations with ESO's VLT show this is...

2006-01-11 07:41:19

UCLA -- An international team of astronomers reported evidence for the formation of mysterious "super star clusters" Jan. 9 at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C. These star clusters are the likely precursors to the familiar globular clusters of the Milky Way; however in our galaxy, globular clusters are all believed to be older than 10 billion years -- close to the age of the universe itself -- and none are forming. Using the Very Large Array...

2005-04-08 05:05:00

RAS -- Ongoing research by an international team of astronomers is providing new insights into cataclysmic cosmic collisions between galaxy clusters. Using the worlds most powerful X-ray space observatory, the team is unravelling the complex interactions that take place in the traffic pile-ups that occur as clusters containing hundreds of galaxies and trillions of solar masses of gas and dark matter interact and merge. Speaking on Friday 8 April at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in...

2005-04-02 10:00:00

RAS -- A UK-led team of astronomers has discovered a completely new type of star cluster around a neighbouring galaxy. The new-found clusters contain hundreds of thousands of stars, a similar number to the so-called "globular" star clusters which have long been familiar to astronomers. What distinguishes them from the globular clusters is that they are much larger "“ several hundred light years across "“ and hundreds of times less dense. The distances between the stars are,...

Latest Star clusters Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Star Cluster -- Star clusters are physically bound systems of stars. In order of low compactness to high compactness (and in some sense also age) they range from stellar associations to open clusters to globular clusters. Star clusters are held together by the gravitation of their members. Due to both external (encounters with massive objects, influence of the host galaxy) and internal (encounters with other cluster members, stellar evolution) influences, clusters slowly evaporate. Their...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Open Cluster -- An open cluster is a group of star formed from a molecular cloud, the illuminated parts of which we see as one or more nebulae. They are also called galactic clusters since they exist within the galaxy. All the stars in an open cluster have more or less the same age and the same chemical composition, so any difference between them is solely due to their mass. Most open clusters are dominated by their O-type and B-type giant blue stars, which are very luminous but...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Globular Cluster -- A globular cluster is a cluster of stars that is spherical in shape and extremely dense towards its core. Globular clusters are usually composed of hundreds of thousands of old stars, similar to the bulge of a spiral galaxy but confined to a volume of only a few cubic parsecs. Some globular clusters (like Omega Centauri in our Milky Way, and G1 in M31) are truly massive clusters, with several million times the mass of our Sun. Such globular clusters may be the...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Milky Way Galaxy -- The Milky Way (a translation of the Latin Via Lactea, in turn derived from the Greek Galaxia (gala, galactos means "milk")) is a hazy band of white light across the night sky formed by billions of stars in the disc of our galaxy. The Milky Way appears brightest in the direction of Sagittarius, where the galactic centre lies. Relative to the celestial equator, the Milky Way passes as far north as the constellation of Cassiopeia and as far south as the constellation of...

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