Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Stellar Nursery

The cluster of thousands of stars lies 20,000 light years from Earth in the Carina spiral arm of our galaxy. It is embedded in a star-forming nebula called NGC 3603, a cloud of gas and dust with enough material to form 400,000 stars like the Sun.

Previous measurements by Hubble and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile had come to the same conclusion for two of these star systems, indicating that the heaviest star involved is as massive as 114 Suns, which is at the borderline of what some theoretical models allow.

Very cool and interesting.

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