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Taken 17-Nov-15
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Keywords:Westerlund 2
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Dimensions9000 x 7200
Original file size30.3 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spaceUnknown
Date modified17-Nov-15 17:41
hs-2015-12-a 24x30

hs-2015-12-a 24x30

NASA and ESA are celebrating the Hubble Space Telescope's silver anniversary of 25 years in space by unveiling some of nature's own fireworks - a giant cluster of about 3,000 stars called Westerlund 2. The cluster resides inside a vibrant stellar breeding ground known as Gum 29, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina. The comparatively young, 2-million-year-old star cluster contains some of our galaxy's hottest, brightest, and most massive stars. The largest stars are unleashing a torrent of ultraviolet light and hurricane-force winds that etch away the enveloping hydrogen gas cloud. This creates a fantasy celestial landscape of pillars, ridges, and valleys.