A group of scientists have discovered a star cluster that is creating new stars.
According to NBC news, a group of ESO scientists have observed a phenomenon that they have described as ‘Cosmic Recycling.’ A telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile captured an amazing view of three clusters of bright newborn stars in the Prawn Nebula, a dense concentration of ionized gas and dust, which are only a few million years old.
These stars are made up of leftovers of old stars that died in supernova explosions, and they shine ultraviolet light which illuminates the nebula’s gas clouds. The nebula can be seen in the constellation Scorpius, about 6,000 light-years from Earth.
The ESO team said, “The material forming these new stars includes the remains of the most massive stars from an older generation that have already ended their lives and ejected their material in violent supernova explosions. Thus the cycle of stellar life and death continues.”
In addition to the many newborn stars in the nebula, this region contains enough dust and gas to create an even younger generation of stars.
The latest view of the Prawn Nebula has shown ‘cosmic recycling’ at work. It showed glowing clusters of newborn stars, illuminating nearby gas, expelled from an earlier stellar generation, which will ultimately form into even newer stars.
In a statement, ESO officials said, “This image, which only captures a part of the nebula, was taken with the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope using the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems programme. The programme makes use of telescope time that cannot be used for science observations to produce images of interesting, intriguing or visually attractive objects.”
After the dust and gas become dense enough, a section will collapse down, beginning the birth of a star.