Monday, October 17, 2011

Incredible new image of 14,000 stars that make up the Carina Nebula - 16th Oct 2011

Nasa scientists have obtained detailed images of star-forming space nursery millions of light years from Earth thanks to an advanced X-ray telescope.

The stunning images, taken from Nasa's Chandra X-ray Observatory, show the Carina Nebula, a region in the Sagittarius-Carina arm of the Milky Way where new stars are formed. So far they have detected 14,000 stars in the area which is 7,500 light years from Earth.

And after analysing the images beamed back from the space-based observatory, scientists now believe that some of the giant stars have self-destructed.

They noticed that there was a reduction in the number of bright X-ray sources in a northern cluster known as Trumpler 15, leading them to believe that some stars had been destroyed in supernova explosions.

The detection of six possible neutron stars - the dense cores often left behind after stars explode in supernovas - provides additional evidence that supernova activity is increasing up in Carina. Previous observations had only detected one neutron star in Carina. Source