May 6, 2015

New stars around Westerlund 2

Westerlund 2

The red dots scattered throughout the cosmic landscape captured in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image are a rich population of forming stars that are still wrapped in their gas and dust cocoons.

These stellar foetuses have not yet ignited the hydrogen in their cores to light-up as stars. However, Hubble’s near-infrared vision allows astronomers to identify these fledglings. The brilliant blue stars seen throughout the image are mostly in the foreground.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Explanation from: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1509f/

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