NASA’s Hubble Telescope has captured a vibrant picture of an open star cluster in one of Milky Way’s satellite galaxies. The telescope photographed a captivating group of stars, called NGC 1858, in an area full of star-forming regions. NASA took to Instagram to share the image of this glimmering sea of stars, filled with tinges of blue, white, and bright shades of orange light emanating from far-off heavenly bodies.
The picture shows a bright blue cloud in the backdrop of what seems like an ocean of glimmering stars. The stars vary in their size, revealing that while some of them are close to the telescope, others are multiple light years away.
Scientists estimate this open star cluster’s age to be in the ballpark of 10 million years old. NASA, in the caption of the post, revealed that the group is a complex collection since it contains stars at different phases of their evolution. “The presence of an emission nebula suggests that star formation recently occurred here since the radiation required to ionise the gas of the nebula comes from stars that only live a short time,” NASA wrote.
The space research organisation also said that the cluster, positioned in the northwest part of the Large Magellanic Cloud satellite galaxy, shows an abundance of star-forming regions.
The cluster has an unusual shape because the gravitational attraction between the stars is comparatively loose. “This is an emission nebula, which is a cloud of interstellar gas that has been ionised by ultraviolet wavelengths radiating off nearby stars. The gas of the nebula emits its own light at visible wavelengths (as our eyes would see it), seen here as a faint cloud that populates the middle and bottom right of the image,” the caption added.
NGC 1858 is found in Dorado, one of the 88 modern constellations. The cluster is about 160,000 light-years away from the Earth and is in an active region of the sky.
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