Bringing together some of the brightest stars in the entire Milky Way, a breathtaking image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, was recently released by NASA and the ESA. The diamond-like stars depict the star cluster Trumpler 14, which gathers some of the most massive, hottest, and brightest stars in the Milky Way. It is located about 8,000 light-years from Earth, towards the center of the Carina Nebula, which is 7,500 light-years away.
[Image source: NASA & ESA]
At 500,000 years old, Trumpler 14 is – believe it or not – the youngest star cluster ever discovered. It is also one of the most populous, with 2,000 stars.
“This region of space houses one of the highest concentrations of massive, luminous stars in the entire Milky Way — a spectacular family of young, bright, white-blue stars,” European Space Agency (ESA) officials said in a statement. “These stars are rapidly working their way through their vast supplies of hydrogen, and have only a few million years of life left before they meet a dramatic demise and explode as supernovae.”
The Carina Nebula, within which lies the star cluster Trumpler 14 (circled) [Image source: ESO]
Astronomers estimate the 2,000 stars residing within the Trumpler 14 range in size “from less than one tenth to up to several tens of times the mass of the Sun.” It was confirmed about 1,100 star clusters have been discovered within the Milky way so far, but it is believed that the actual number is much higher.