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A cosmic KreißsaaI of rare beauty: In the Orion Nebula astronomers could identify three different populations of very young stars. The new image of the OmegaCAM optical wide-angle camera of the VLT Survey Telescope of the European Southern Observatory ESO in Chile provided unique details with its data. The brightness and colors of the stars could be determined so precisely. The researchers found in the evaluation of three different types that indicate a different age of the stars.

The team led by ESO astronomer Giacomo Beccari has been able to gain valuable new insights into the formation of star clusters : it could run in bursts, with each thrust running faster than previously thought. "When we looked at the data for the first time, it was one of those Wow! Moments you might have as an astronomer once or twice in your life, " says Beccari, first author of the journal, which will soon be published in the journal Astronomy. Astrophysics is released. "Thanks to the incredible quality of the OmegaCAM recordings, there is no doubt that we are dealing with three different stellar populations in the central part of the cluster." The Orion Nebula is one of the nearest birthplaces of massive stars at 1350 light-years away.

Recording: ESO / G. Beccari

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© science.de - Ruth Roebuck
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