A. SCHALLER / NASA / ESA / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY A. SCHALLER / NASA / ESA / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Massive star cluster, artwork. The artwork is based on a star cluster discovered by the Spitzer Space Telescope. It is one of the most massive star clusters in the Milky Way galaxy, and is thought to be the source of previously unexplained outpourings of high-energy X-rays and gamma rays from this area. It contains 14 massive supergiant stars (red), which are on the verge of exploding as supernovae. Each star is around 20 times the mass of the Sun. Young stars (blue) are also seen. This cluster, discovered as part of the Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIMPSE) Legacy project, is 18,900 light years from Earth, in the constellation Scutum. The results were obtained in 2004 and published in 2006.
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