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March 30, 2011

The rose-red glow of star formation

Just recently, European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) took a picture of a region of glowing hydrogen surrounding the star cluster NGC 371. This star cluster marks the location of a stellar nursery that lies in our neighboring galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud.

The image, which can be seen in the link below, shows a region of ionized hydrogen - known as Hll regions - that contains high rates of star birth. NGC 371 is an open cluster surrounded by a nebulae.

Stars in open cluster all originate from the same Hll region, and over time the majority of hydrogen surrounding the cluster is used up by star formation leaving behind a shell of hydrogen, that can be seen in the picture, along with a cluster of hot young stars.

The Small Magellanic Cloud is a dwarf galaxy about 200,000 light-years away which makes it one of the closest galaxies to the Milky Way.

I find this really interesting, especially because I saw a stellar nursery located in the Great Nebulae of orion. I think it is amazing how the universe can recycle old stars to make new stars.

Full article can be read at:
http://www.astronomy.com/en/News-Observing/News/2011/03/The%20rose-red%20glow%20of%20star%20formation.aspx

Posted by mackenro at March 30, 2011 10:24 PM

Comments

"The Small Magellanic Cloud is a dwarf galaxy about 200,000 light-years away which makes it one of the closest galaxies to the Milky Way", this is an amazing finding

Posted by: yuxuansh at April 1, 2011 03:31 PM

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