Astronomy Photo of the Day —
February 28th, 2013

 


Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA) – ESA/Hubble Collaboration

 

Located some 200,000 light-years away, in the constellation of Tucana, Hubble spies an active star forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud — a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.

 

The star cluster, which is formally designated as NGC 602, is a mere 5 million years young. The infant stars are still encased in their stellar cocoons, tucked away with the remainder of the gas and dust leftover from their formation. The intricate ridges that are around the inner brownish portion of the image are the result of erosion, which was caused by the harsh ultraviolet light that is radiating from the energetic baby stars inside, who will eventually eat their way out of their predicament.

 

This image is a composite, stitched together using several different exposures, each of whic, were made by the ACS instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope using several different filters. Two filters were used to capture broad wavelength ranges. Another was used to sample narrow wavelength emission.

 

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This article was written by: Jaime


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