Stars & Clusters
Stars & Clusters
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Arches Cluster. IR image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The cluster is the most crowded place in the Milky Way. A sphere 4.4 light years in radius would hold the Sun & our nearest neighbor α Centauri. In the Arches Cluster a region that size would hold over 100,000 stars. (Credit: ESA, NASA)
The 26,000-year cycle of precession as seen from near the Earth. The current north pole star is Polaris (top). In about 8,000 years it will be the bright star Deneb (left), and in about 12,000 years, Vega (left center). The Earth's rotation is not depicted to scale – in this span of time, it should rotate over 9 million times. Mona Evans, "Ecliptic and Equinoxes" www.bellaonline.c...
47 Tucanae, located in the constellation Tucana, is the second largest known globular cluster. Here it's shown in a digital art work by Felix Cheung. It's one of a set of screen savers based on the Southern birds constellations. Mona Evans, "Exotic Creatures of the Southern Sky" www.bellaonline.c...
Globular cluster IC 4499 in the southern constellation Apus (Bird-of-paradise). (credit: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope) The stars in this cluster formed at the same time and gravity pulls its large mass together into a spherical shape.
IC 4499: A globular cluster’s age revisited
Star cluster Westerlund 2. Hubble 25th anniversary image. Young stars flaring to life resemble an exploding shell in a fireworks display. The giant star cluster is only about two million years old, but contains some of the brightest, hottest and most massive stars ever discovered. The red dots are a rich population of forming stars that are still wrapped in their gas and dust cocoons. (Credit: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope)
Westerlund 2 — Hubble’s 25th anniversary image
GRO J1655-40, binary star system 11,000 light years away in the constellation Scorpius. It consists of a star about twice the mass of the Sun & a black hole of about seven solar masses. The artist's vision shows matter drawn from the normal star by gravity & swirling toward the black hole. A wind of material is also escaping from the black hole's accretion disk. (Illustration: M. Weiss (CXC), NASA) Mona Evans, "Scorpius the Scorpion", www.bellaonline.c...
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Explanation: Binary star system GRO J1655-40 consists of a relatively normal star about twice as massive as the Sun co-orbiting with a black hole of about seven solar masses. This striking artist's vision of the exotic binary system helps visualize matter drawn from the normal star by gravity and swirling toward the black hole.
An artist's impression of a quasar Credit: Chandra X-Ray Center, Nahks Tr'Ehnl, and Nurten Filiz Ak
nasa picture of the day | Astronomy Picture of the Day
APOD: 2006 July 1 - Wind from a Black Hole
Butterfly Cluster (M6 / NGC 6405). Bright open star cluster in the constellation Scorpius. Its popular name reflects the butterfly shape you can see in this picture. About eighty stars have been identified, but the cluster probably has over three hundred, mostly hot blue stars. (Image Credit: N.A.Sharp, Mark Hanna, REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF) Mona Evans, "Scorpius the Scorpion", www.bellaonline.c...
The Butterfly Cluster, an open cluster in Scorpius
Compact center of globular cluster Messier 70 in the constellation Sagittarius. Quarters are always tight in globular clusters, where the mutual hold of gravity binds together hundreds of thousands of stars in a small region of space. (Credit: ESA Hubble & NASA) Mona Evans, “Sagittarius the Archer” www.bellaonline.c...
Globular Cluster M22. It contains over 100,000 stars that formed together and remain gravitationally bound. The cluster orbits the center of the Milky Way. Globular clusters are very old, close to the age of the Universe. (Credit & Copyright: Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT), Hawaiian Starlight, CFHT) Mona Evans, “Sagittarius the Archer” www.bellaonline.c...
APOD: 2005 June 27 - Globular Cluster M22 from CFHT
Light curve of binary star Kepler-16. (Image: NASA) This an example of a a type of variable star known as an eclipsing variable. Algol is the classic example of such a star, but Lambda Tauri is also seen nearly edge on like this. Lambda Tauri is a triple system and a third star orbits the binary. Mona Evans, "Taurus the Bull" www.bellaonline.c...
File:Light curve of binary star Kepler-16.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
A mere 600 light-years away, M44 is one of the closest star clusters to our solar system. Also known as the Praesepe or the Beehive cluster its stars are young though, about 600 million years old compared to our Sun's 4.5 billion years. Based on similar ages and motion through space, M44 and the even closer Hyades star cluster in Taurus are thought to have been born together in the same large molecular cloud
M44: The Beehive Cluster (Image Credit & Copyright: Bob Franke)
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NASA’s Astronomy Picture Of The Day: M44: The Beehive Cluster - #space #astronomy #science #nature #photography
600 light-years away, the Beehive Cluster is one of the closest star clusters to our solar system. Its stars are young, about 600 million years old compared to our Sun's 4.5 billion years. M44 and the even closer Hyades star cluster in Taurus seem to have been born together in the same large molecular cloud. An open cluster spanning some 15 light-years, it holds 1,000 stars or so and covers about 1.5 degrees on the sky in the constellation Cancer. (Image Credit & Copyright: Bob Franke)
APOD: 2014 February 22 - M44: The Beehive Cluster
A STAR'S BIRTH AND DEATH
Alexander Stegmaier, 2014 Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Marching 2014, Spaces Astronomy, Graphics Discover, Jason Treats, Stars Births, Black, Star Birth
A group of baby stars form a "stellar snowflake" in Spitzer observations of a dusty region near the Cone Nebula. [Still from JPL/Cal Tech Gallery Explorer video]. Especially noticeable is the star that has a number of stars seemingly radiating from it. The radial structure is reminiscent of a snowflake.
Pistol Star. One of the brightest star s known. (Credit: D. F. Figer (UCLA) et al., NICMOS, HST, NASA) It's so far away & so obscured by dust, it took the Hubble Space Telescope to confirm it existed. It lies at the center of the Pistol Nebula and seems to be throwing off the mass that created the nebula. It emits 10 million times more light than Sun. Mona Evans, "How Big Are the Biggest Stars" www.bellaonline.c...
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Hubble telescope captures the Pistol Star Nebula in Outer Space
Pistol Star A Brilliant Star in Milky Way's Core. One of the intrinsically brightest stars in our galaxy appears as the bright white dot in the center of this image taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) was needed to take the picture, because the star is hidden at the galactic center, behind obscuring dust. NICMOS' infrared vision penetrated the dust to reveal the star, which is glowing with the radiance of 10 million suns.
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The Pistol Star is a blue hypergiant and is one of the most luminous known stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. It is one of many massive young stars in the Quintuplet cluster in the Galactic Center region. The star owes its name to the shape of the Pistol Nebula, which it illuminates. It is located approximately 25,000 light years from Earth in the direction of Sagittarius. (wikipedia)
Picture credit the MilkyWay scientists
Trapezium cluster in the Orion nebula. The four brightest stars form a trapezium shape. The very brightest star of them is Theta1 Orionis C, which is actually a close binary. (Credit: John Bally, Dave Devine, and Ralph Sutherland, STScI, NASA) Mona Evars" www.bellaonline.c...
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Like the Grand Canyon, the Orion nebula has a dramatic surface topography — of glowing gasses instead of rock — with peaks, valleys and walls. They are illuminated and heated by a torrent of energetic ultraviolet light from its four hottest and most massive stars, called the Trapezium, which are pictured here.
Part of the Great Nebula of Orion. Observing the nebula with binoculars or a telescope, you can see the four brightest stars of a star cluster known as The Trapezium. These are the stars that make the nebula glow. They are hot young stars, for the nebula is a stellar nursery. It contains the material and has the right conditions for forming new stars. ©Mona Evans, "Orion the Hunter" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art19756.asp
Trapezium (Theta1 Orionis)
Classification of Stars. At the top of this diagram are the Main Sequence stars, those using hydrogen as their nuclear fuel. The Sun is a G-type star, so you can compare that to the rare O-type stars to see the difference in size. And the difference in mass can be up to 100 times. Mona Evans"How Big Are the Biggest Stars" www.bellaonline.c...
The Classification of Stars
Zooming in from the Tarantula Nebula to the R136 cluster, with R136a1/2/3 visible as the barely resolved knot at bottom right. The brightest star just to the left of the cluster core is R136c, another extreme massive WN5h star. (Credit: European Southern Observatory/P. Crowther/C.J. Evans) Mona Evans"How Big Are the Biggest Stars" www.bellaonline.c...
File:RMC136 cluster.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Left to right: a red dwarf, the Sun, a blue dwarf, and R136a1. R136a1 is not the largest known star in terms of radius or volume, only in mass and luminosity. (Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser) Mona Evans"How Big Are the Biggest Stars" www.bellaonline.c...
Getting WISE About Nemesis | Astrobiology Magazine. A dark object may be lurking near our solar system, occasionally kicking comets in our direction. Nicknamed “Nemesis” or “The Death Star,” this undetected object could be a red or brown dwarf star, or an even darker presence several times the mass of Jupiter. Why do scientists think something could be hidden beyond the edge of our solar system? Originally, Nemesis was suggested as a way to explain a cycle of mass extinctions on Earth.
Size comparison of our Sun, a red dwarf, a brown dwarf, Jupiter & Earth. Stars with less mass than the Sun are smaller and cooler. Brown dwarfs have less than eight percent of the Sun's mass, so can't sustain nuclear fusion. These cool orbs are nearly impossible to see in visible light, but stand out when viewed in infrared. Their diameters are about the same as Jupiter’s, but they can have up to 80 times more mass and are thought to have planetary systems of their own. (Image credit: NASA)