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RMC 136a star cluster, infrared image

RMC 136a star cluster, infrared image

C014/5038

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Credit

P. CROWTHER / C.J. EVANS / EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY P. CROWTHER / C.J. EVANS / EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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This image may not be used by or to promote the arms, nuclear power or tobacco industries or any religious organisation, or in any discriminatory way, or to imply the endorsement by ESO of any product, service or activity.

Caption

RMC 136a star cluster, infrared image. This young cluster has three bright stars that when formed each weighed more than 150 times the mass of the Sun. The most massive star, known as R136a1 and located at the centre of the image, has a current mass 265 times that of the Sun. It also has the highest luminosity, close to ten million times greater than the Sun. RMC 136a is 22,000 light years from Earth, in the constellation of Dorado. This image was obtained with the MAD (Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics Demonstrator) instrument at the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). Image published in 2010.

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