Hubble image: Dazzling diamonds

January 21, 2016
This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image features the star cluster Trumpler 14. One of the largest gatherings of hot, massive and bright stars in the Milky Way, this cluster houses some of the most luminous stars in our entire galaxy. Credit: NASA & ESA, Jesús Maíz Apellániz (Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia)

Single stars are often overlooked in favour of their larger cosmic cousins—but when they join forces, they create truly breathtaking scenes to rival even the most glowing of nebulae or swirling of galaxies. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image features the star cluster Trumpler 14. One of the largest gatherings of hot, massive and bright stars in the Milky Way, this cluster houses some of the most luminous stars in our entire galaxy.

Around 1100 open clusters have so far been discovered within the Milky Way, although many more are thought to exist. Trumpler 14 is one of these, located some 8000 light-years away towards the centre of the well-known Carina Nebula) .

At a mere 500 000 years old—a small fraction of the Pleiades open cluster's age of 115 million years—Trumpler 14 is not only one of the most populous clusters within the Carina Nebula, but also the youngest. However, it is fast making up for lost time, forming stars at an incredible rate and putting on a stunning visual display.

This region of space houses one of the highest concentrations of massive, in the entire Milky Way—a spectacular family of young, bright, white-blue stars. These stars are rapidly working their way through their vast supplies of hydrogen, and have only a few million years of life left before they meet a dramatic demise and explode as supernovae. In the meantime, despite their youth, these stars are making a huge impact on their environment. They are literally making waves!

As the stars fling out high-speed particles from their surfaces, strong winds surge out into space. These winds collide with the surrounding material, causing shock waves that heat the gas to millions of degrees and trigger intense bursts of X-rays. These strong also carve out cavities in nearby clouds of gas and dust, and kickstart the formation of new stars.

The peculiar arc-shaped cloud visible at the very bottom of this image is suspected to be the result of such a wind. This feature is thought to be a bow shock created by the wind flowing from the nearby star Trumpler 14 MJ 218. Astronomers have observed this star to be moving through space at some 350 000 kilometres per hour, sculpting the surrounding clumps of gas and dust as it does so.

Astronomers estimate that around 2000 stars reside within Trumpler 14, ranging in size from less than one tenth to up to several tens of times the mass of the Sun. The most prominent star in Trumpler 14, and the brightest star in this image, is the supergiant HD 93129Aa. It is one of the most brilliant and hottest in our entire galaxy.

Explore further: Space image: Carina Nebula: 14,000+ Stars

Related Stories

Space image: Carina Nebula: 14,000+ Stars

October 17, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Carina Nebula is a star-forming region in the Sagittarius-Carina arm of the Milky Way that is 7,500 light years from Earth and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory has detected more than 14,000 stars in the ...

Image: Hubble checks out a home for old stars

December 21, 2015

This image, taken with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the globular cluster Terzan 1. Lying around 20,000 light-years from us in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion), ...

Image: Hubble sees a youthful cluster

August 31, 2015

Shown here in a new image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the globular cluster NGC 1783. This is one of the biggest globular clusters in the Large Magellanic ...

Recommended for you

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

December 7, 2016

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey, made with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team ...

Giant radio flare of Cygnus X-3 detected by astronomers

December 7, 2016

(Phys.org)—Russian astronomers have recently observed a giant radio flare from a strong X-ray binary source known as Cygnus X-3 (Cyg X-3 for short). The flare occurred after more than five years of quiescence of this source. ...

Saturn's bulging core implies moons younger than thought

December 7, 2016

Freshly harvested data from NASA's Cassini mission reveals that Saturn's bulging core and twisting gravitational forces offer clues to the ages of the planet's moons. Astronomers now believe that the ringed planet's moons ...

Cassini transmits first images from new orbit

December 7, 2016

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent to Earth its first views of Saturn's atmosphere since beginning the latest phase of its mission. The new images show scenes from high above Saturn's northern hemisphere, including the planet's ...

New evidence for a warmer and wetter early Mars

December 7, 2016

A recent study from ESA's Mars Express and NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provides new evidence for a warm young Mars that hosted water across a geologically long timescale, rather than in short episodic bursts ...

7 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Mr Som-o
not rated yet Jan 21, 2016
Wonder what that is at center-left. Dust cloud?
vidyunmaya
1 / 5 (1) Jan 22, 2016
sub: Trumpler 14-8000 LY-1100 Open clusters
My inputs: Beyond Dark modes-predicted projections-Transition to Dynamic regions - this base provides a clear opportunity for magnetic fields orientation- horizontal to Vertical -control-dynamics functional index-one can see clear log-scale LY mode projections- in my book-Cosmological index-milkyway Sensex-visible Invisible matrix- section III, Space vision-OM cosmological Index-TXU 1-731-970 by Vidyardhi nanduri-2010- ESA proposals-
Book available at LULU [dot]com - cosmology vedas Interlinks.
These dazzling stars help cosmic consciousness to Cosmology revision. Necessity to understand cosmic function of the universe.Thanks for the information.
Your info:Trumpler 14. One of the largest gatherings of hot, massive and bright stars in the Milky Way, this cluster houses some of the most luminous stars in our entire galaxy
my inputs
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Jan 22, 2016
Wonder what that is at center-left. Dust cloud?

Looks like a dust cloud (much like the one on the right edge of the image). If you follow the links to the ESA/Hubble site you can view an enlarged image.
HeyChief
5 / 5 (3) Jan 22, 2016
Dust cloud?... Looks to be a Bok Globule ( or the subset with a tail called a Cometary Globule)
TechnoCreed
5 / 5 (2) Jan 22, 2016
Wonder what that is at center-left. Dust cloud?


Dust cloud?... Looks to be a Bok Globule ( or the subset with a tail called a Cometary Globule)

Take this link and look at the top image, you are going to see the same feature viewed with a different filter. You are going to notice that there is a few more of them. http://cdn.spacet...707e.jpg
Also this video is going to help you put all of this into context. http://www.spacet...ic1601a/
bluehigh
not rated yet Jan 22, 2016
Outstanding Techno, thanks. Sadly no alien space ship but good links from you.
Top post of further info without prejudice.
Tuxford
1 / 5 (1) Jan 24, 2016
These stars are rapidly working their way through their vast supplies of hydrogen, and have only a few million years of life left before they meet a dramatic demise and explode as supernovae.


Just more merger mania assumptive nonsense. These clusters are regions of high matter density, causing accelerated growth of the stars therein, from within, not from without. Thus, the blue stars are growing rapidly, with little time to form metals, and thereby appear young in mainstream assumptive models.

For more, see my earlier comments thereunder:

http://phys.org/n...ter.html

http://phys.org/n...ter.html

http://phys.org/n...ars.html

http://phys.org/n...ter.html

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.