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Hubble Heritage Archive: Open Cluster Trumpler 14

21 Feb 2020, 13:30 UTC
Hubble Heritage Archive: Open Cluster Trumpler 14
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The text and images in this article were originally published on January 21, 2016, and reflect information about Trumpler 14 available at that time.

Hubble Unveils a Tapestry of Dazzling Diamond-Like Stars

Resembling an opulent diamond tapestry, this image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows a glittering star cluster that contains a collection of some of the brightest stars seen in our Milky Way galaxy. Called Trumpler 14, it is located 8,000 light-years away in the Carina Nebula, a huge star-formation region. Because the cluster is only 500,000 years old, it has one of the highest concentrations of massive, luminous stars in the entire Milky Way. (The small, dark knot left of center is a nodule of gas laced with dust, and seen in silhouette.)

Diamonds are forever, but these blue-white stars are not. They are burning their hydrogen fuel so ferociously that they will explode as supernovae in just a few million years. The combination of outflowing stellar “winds” and, ultimately, supernova blast waves will carve out cavities in nearby clouds of gas and dust. These fireworks will kick-start the beginning of a new generation of stars in an ongoing cycle of star birth and death.

This composite image ...

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