Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Beautiful Sky Image (Picture of the Day: 1/13/13)

NGC 602. Source

The bright conglomeration of stars near the center of this image is the young star cluster known as NGC 602. This star cluster is only about 5 million years old, a surprisingly young age for such an astronomical entity. The illuminated gas on the outskirts of the cluster is the natal gas and dust of its birth, being pushed away and irradiated by the heavy solar winds from the young stars.
What is even more striking about this image are the numerous galaxies seen in the background. The clarity of this photo is striking. It really gives us a tantalizing impression of just how big the universe really is.

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