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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 triple star system Polaris (Alpha Ursae Minoris), as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. Mona Evans, "Polaris - Facts for Kids" www.bellaonline.c...

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...

Axial precession

en.wikipedia.org

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

spacetelescope.org

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

spacetelescope.org

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...

APOD: 2006 July 1 - Wind from a Black Hole

star.ucl.ac.uk

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

annesastronomynews.com

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

apod.nasa.gov

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

commons.wikimedia.org

M44: The Beehive Cluster (Image Credit & Copyright: Bob Franke)

APOD: 2014 February 22 - M44: The Beehive Cluster

apod.nasa.gov

Comparing the sizes of the planets, then comparing bigger and bigger and yet bigger stars. Mona Evans"How Big Are the Biggest Stars" www.bellaonline.c...

List of largest known stars - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

en.wikipedia.org

Hypergiant Size comparison between the Sun and VY Canis Majoris, a hypergiant which is one of the largest known stars. Mona Evans"How Big Are the Biggest Stars" www.bellaonline.c...

Hypergiant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

en.wikipedia.org

A STAR'S BIRTH AND DEATH

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.

In a classical nova, a white dwarf siphons material off a companion star, piling up material on its surface until thermonuclear processes kick off, creating a brilliant outburst. (Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

Novae Surprise with Gamma Rays - Sky & Telescope

skyandtelescope.com

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...

Arcturus – Sun comparison. (Illustration – Bob King) The Sun looks very small compared to red giant Arcturus. Mona Evans, "How Big Are the Biggest Stars" www.bellaonline.c...

A stellar celebrity in our midst | Astro Bob

astrobob.areavoices.com

Comparison between the Sun, Arcturus (a red giant) and Antares (a red supergiant). Mona Evans"How Big Are the Biggest Stars" www.bellaonline.c...

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...

Trapezium (Theta1 Orionis)

daviddarling.info

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

atlasoftheuniverse.com

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

news.sciencemag.org

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...

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)

Getting WISE About Nemesis - Astrobiology Magazine

astrobio.net