'Pacman Nebula' lives the high life

September 29, 2011
Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/S.Wolk; IR: NASA/JPL/CfA/S.Wolk

(PhysOrg.com) -- High-mass stars are important because they are responsible for much of the energy pumped into our galaxy over its lifetime.

Unfortunately, these stars are poorly understood because they are often found relatively far away and can be obscured by gas and dust. The star cluster NGC 281 is an exception to this rule.

It is located about 9,200 light years from Earth and, remarkably, almost 1,000 above the plane of the Galaxy, giving astronomers a nearly unfettered view of the within it.

NGC 281 is known informally as the "Pacman Nebula" because of its appearance in . In optical images the "mouth" of the Pacman character appears dark because of obscuration by dust and gas, but in the infrared Spitzer image the dust in this region glows brightly.

Explore further: Hubble finds 'dust clouds' in Milky Way

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1 / 5 (5) Sep 29, 2011
High-mass stars are important because they are responsible for much of the energy pumped into our galaxy over its lifetime

Thanks for the story!

High mass, low volume stars are the source for much of the energy pumped into the galaxy because, . . . .

Neutron repulsion, not fusion, is the primary energy source when the universe is expanding [1,2].

1. "Neutron Repulsion", The APEIRON Journal, in press (2011)


2. Is the Universe Expanding?", The Journal of Cosmology 13, 4187-4190 (2011)


With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

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