The Hubble Telescope captures a stunning star formation in a star nursery 200,000 light-years away

The Hubble Telescope captures a stunning spiral star formation in a stellar nursery 200,000 light-years from Earth — giving us the climax of the universe’s beginnings

  • NASA’s Hubble Telescope has captured a beautiful image of a rising star formation in the middle of a stellar nursery.
  • The young stars are located in NGC 346, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way located 200,000 light-years from Earth.
  • The stars are the machines that sculpt the universe. The study leader said: ‘We wouldn’t have life without stars, yet we don’t fully understand how they form.’

NASA’s Hubble Telescope has captured a stunning spiral star formation in the center of the stellar nursery located 200,000 light-years from Earth.

Young stars can be seen rising to the center of a massive group of stars known as NGC 346 located in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way and one of our closest neighbors.

Using the power of Hubble and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, the outer arm of the spiral could fuel star formation in a river-like motion of gas and stars, say researchers.

The unique stellar nursery shape has long puzzled astronomers. NGC 346 also has a mass of 50,000 suns. To put that in context, the Sun is huge enough to hold about 1.3 million Earths within it.

It took the combined power of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to reveal the behavior of this mysterious star-nesting Earth.

NASA’s Hubble Telescope has captured a stunning spiral star formation in the center of the stellar nursery located 200,000 light-years from Earth.

The study looks at changes in the positions of the stars over an 11-year period. The stars move at an average speed of 2,000 miles per hour, so in that time period they move an astounding 200 million miles.

Because the cluster is so far away, the researchers’ observations were only possible due to Hubble’s higher accuracy and sensitivity — as well as its three-decade history of scanning the universe.

The stars are the machines that sculpt the universe. ‘We wouldn’t have life without stars, yet we don’t fully understand how they form,’ study leader Elena Sabi of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore said in a statement.

We have many models that make predictions, and some of these predictions are contradictory. We want to determine what regulates star formation, because these are also the laws we need to understand what we see in the early universe.

The unique stellar nursery shape has long puzzled astronomers.  NGC 346 also has a mass of 50,000 suns.  To put that in context, the Sun is huge enough to hold about 1.3 million Earths within it

The unique stellar nursery shape has long puzzled astronomers. NGC 346 also has a mass of 50,000 suns. To put that in context, the Sun is huge enough to hold about 1.3 million Earths within it

NASA's Hubble Telescope was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990 and deployed into orbit the next day.  NASA hopes to continue providing fruitful data to scientists into the 2020s

NASA’s Hubble Telescope was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990 and deployed into orbit the next day. NASA hopes to continue providing fruitful data to scientists into the 2020s

“The spiral is really a good natural way to fuel star formation from the outside toward the center of mass,” Zeidler explained. It’s the most efficient way stars and the gases that fuel star formation can move toward the center.

A second team used the ground-based VLT’s Multi-Unit Spectrograph (MUSE) instrument to measure the radial velocity – which allows us to see if an object is approaching or receding from the observer.

Half of the Hubble data for this study, published in Astrophysical Journal On September 8 archive.

Although the initial observations were taken 11 years ago, researchers have only recently repeated them.

“The Hubble archive is really a goldmine,” Sabi said. There are many interesting star-forming regions that Hubble has observed over the years. Given that Hubble performed very well, we can actually replicate these observations. This could really improve our understanding of star formation.

Scientists expect that observations from the James Webb Space Telescope – which is larger and more powerful than the Hubble telescope and just released its first images in July – will be able to resolve some of the lowest-mass stars.

NASA’s Hubble Telescope was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990 and deployed into orbit the next day. NASA hopes to continue providing productive data to scientists into the 2020s.

Hubble orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 340 miles (547 kilometers). It travels at about 17,000 miles per hour (27,300 kilometers per hour) and takes about 95 minutes to complete one orbit around the Earth.

Hubble orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 340 miles (547 kilometers).  It travels at about 17,000 miles per hour (27,300 kilometers per hour) and takes about 95 minutes to complete one orbit around the Earth

Hubble orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 340 miles (547 kilometers). It travels at about 17,000 miles per hour (27,300 kilometers per hour) and takes about 95 minutes to complete one orbit around the Earth

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