A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a star cluster in all of its glory.
Dozens of stars in the Trumpler 14 cluster can be seen in photos and videos released on January 21. Trumpler 14 is a collection of approximately 2,000 young stars situated 8,000 light-years from Earth, close to the center of the Carina Nebula, writes Mike Wall for Space.com.
Hubble continues to amaze public with extraordinary images
“This region of space houses one of the highest concentrations of massive, luminous stars in the entire Milky Way — a spectacular family of young, bright, white-blue stars,” European Space Agency (ESA) officials wrote in a description of the photo. Hubble is a joint mission involving both the ESA and NASA.
“These stars are rapidly working their way through their vast supplies of hydrogen, and have only a few million years of life left before they meet a dramatic demise and explode as supernovae,” ESA officials added in the statement.
According to officials the Trumpler 14 is only 500,000 years old, and as a result a large number of its stars will burn out quickly and die young. In comparison our sun is still burning away at the age of 4.6 billion years old.
New photo shows one of the hottest supergiant stars in the galaxy
In the new image the brightest visible star is known as HD 93129Aa, which despite its unassuming name is a supergiant 80 times more massive and 2.5 million times brighter than the sun. The temperature on its surface is over 50,000 degrees Celsius, making it one of the hottest of its type in the galaxy. Our sun boasts a surface temperature of “only” 5,500 degrees C.
Officials also revealed that HD 93129Aa is part of a binary system, orbiting a common center mass with neighbor HD 93129Ab.
The image is one of the latest in a string of amazing photos released by the Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in April 1990. Ever since astronauts fixed its primary mirror during a spacewalk in 1993, it has been beaming back extraordinary images that have fascinated spacewatchers and helped scientists improve our understanding of the universe.
After nearly 26 years in operation, Hubble continues to provide valuable information for scientists and sheer enjoyment for the rest of us on Earth.