NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Star cluster Trumpler 14, Chandra X-ray telescope image. This is a cluster of very hot, massive stars (blue and white) and hot gas (pink). The gas is heated as high-speed stellar winds from the stars smash into it, causing shock waves. The shock waves heat the gas to millions of degrees, causing it to emit X-rays. These huge stars are only around a million years old. They will live rapid lives: most of them will explode as supernovae in a few million years. By comparison, our Sun will have a life of some 10 billion years. Trumpler 14 contains around 1600 stars, and lies 9000 light years from Earth in the constellation Carina. Photographed on 21st September 2004.
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