Star clusters or star clouds are groups of stars. Two types of star clusters can be distinguished: globular clusters are tight groups of hundreds of thousands of very old stars which are gravitationally bound, while open clusters, more loosely clustered groups of stars, generally contain fewer than a few hundred members, and are often very young. Open clusters become disrupted over time by the gravitational influence of giant molecular clouds as they move through the galaxy, but cluster members will continue to move in broadly the same direction through space even though they are no longer gravitationally bound; they are then known as a stellar association, sometimes also referred to as a moving group.
A telescope in Chile recently imaged one of the brightest spots at the core of the Milky Way, beautifully illustrating a star cluster and its neighboring dark nebula. The latter offers a stunning contrast for the billions of stars present in this patch of our galaxy. This fantastic view was made possible using the Wide Field [...]
The great pics from Hubble just never end! This time, the brave telescope offered an impressive view of the center of globular cluster NGC 6362. The image of this spherical collection of stars takes a deeper look at the core of the globular cluster, which contains a high concentration of stars with different colors. Seeing [...]
Black holes are simply the worst neighbors to have around, as they wreck havoc in their vicinity. Scientific belief states, however, that in a globular cluster, which is a massive spherical conglomeration of thousands of thousands of stars, you can’t have more than one black hole, if any. New findings however show that there’s no safe neighborhood, [...]
Astronomers, financially backed by NASA, have for the first time ever discovered tantilizing evidence that planets can form and exist around sun-like stars, densly packed together in star clusters. The finding is of significant importance, as scientists claim that it shows that planet can indeed exist in extremely harsh environments, like star clusters. The two [...]
A new image of the nebula NGC 3582, which was captured by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescop at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile shows giant loops of gas that resemble what you would see for New Year’s Eve; however, there probably isn’t much joy in that sector, as these loops [...]
In case you’re wondering, the biggest ‘guitar’ in our galaxy is in fact a pulsar that was nicknamed The Guitar Pulsar. It’s basically a stellar corpse that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation that just shreds interstellar gas, creating a wake of hot hydrogen shaped just like a guitar. Little is known about these remnants, [...]
Star clusters are among the pretties things you can see, when it comes to astrophysical observations. Recently, ESO provided some amazing pictures of one of the most beautiful nestles ever to be seen, located deep in the constellation of Crux. The cluster is named Kappa Crucis Cluster and has been nicknamed ‘the jewel box’ (by [...]