“Million-Year Birth” –Hubble Captures Fiery Creation of a Giant Star Cluster - The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries Channel
Jul 03, 2020 1 min, 22 secs

Most stars in the universe –including our life-giving Population 1, main-sequence Sun, one of more than 100 billion stars in the Milky Way, that formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago–are formed a massive star clusters created from the violent gravitational collapse of matter within a region of a large molecular cloud.

The outskirts of our Milky Way Galaxy are orbited by about 150 globular star clusters, among the oldest objects in the galaxy, formed about 11.5 billion years ago, 2.3 billion years after the Big Bang and shortly before the rate of cosmic star formation reached its peak, 10 billion years ago –a period known as “cosmic high noon.” A globular cluster might be the first place in which intelligent life is identified in our galaxy,” according to Rosanne DiStefano of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

In contrast to DiStefano, some scientists have argued that this makes globular cluster population 11 stars less likely to host planets.

The image of cluster G286.21+0.17, caught in the act of formation, is a multi-wavelength mosaic made out of more than 750 individual radio observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and 9 infrared images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

The powerful winds and radiation from the most massive of these stars are blasting away the molecular clouds, leaving faint wisps of glowing, hot dust (shown in yellow and red).

“This image shows stars in various stages of formation within this single cluster,” said Yu Cheng of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, and lead author of two papers published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Image at the top of the page shows star cluster G286.21+0.17, caught in the act of formation


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