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Astronomy Picture of the Day
NASA ^ | 1/31/08 | A.L.D.

Posted on 01/31/2008 3:36:05 AM PST by sig226


Young Star Cluster Westerlund 2
Credit:
X-ray; Y.Nazé, G.Rauw, J.Manfroid (Université de Liège), CXC, NASA
Infrared; E.Churchwell (University of Wisconsin), JPL, Caltech, NASA

Explanation: Dusty stellar nursery RCW 49 surrounds young star cluster Westerlund 2 in this remarkable composite skyscape from beyond the visible spectrum of light. Infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope is shown in black and white, complimenting the Chandra X-ray image data (in false color) of the hot energetic stars within the cluster's central region. Looking toward the grand southern constellation Centaurus, both views reveal stars and structures hidden from optical telescopes by obscuring dust. Westerlund 2 itself is a mere 2 million years old or less, and contains some of our galaxy's most luminous, massive and therefore short-lived stars. The infrared signatures of proto-planetary disks have also been identified in the intense star forming region. At the cluster's estimated distance of 20,000 light-years, the square marking the Chandra field of view would be about 50 light-years on a side.


TOPICS: Astronomy Picture of the Day
KEYWORDS: apod; falsecolor
I actually got up early today.
1 posted on 01/31/2008 3:36:06 AM PST by sig226
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To: fnord; Number57; KevinDavis; rdb3; MNJohnnie; thoughtomator; RightWhale; proudofthesouth; ...

2 posted on 01/31/2008 3:36:38 AM PST by sig226 (If we took the bones out it wouldn't be crunchy.)
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To: sig226

Thanks


3 posted on 01/31/2008 3:41:52 AM PST by bmwcyle (What is the American voter thinking?)
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To: sig226

Anybody see the Movie “Sunshine” that just came out on dvd?
I Saw it last night on Blu-Ray.
Awesome visuals of our Star and Mercury.
Pretty cool flick.


4 posted on 01/31/2008 7:39:53 AM PST by mowowie
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To: sig226

It’s always a pleasure to get this ping. Thanks sig.


5 posted on 01/31/2008 3:57:57 PM PST by Roccus (Nose-holder voter)
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To: Roccus

Great tag line!


6 posted on 01/31/2008 6:42:08 PM PST by sig226 (If we took the bones out it wouldn't be crunchy.)
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To: sig226

TY


7 posted on 01/31/2008 6:45:41 PM PST by Roccus (Nose-holder voter)
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