The Hubble Space Telescope recently captured a picture of a beautiful star cluster called NGC 1858, located in a region full of star-forming regions. This region is part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the Milky Way’s galaxies, located 160,000 light-years away and believed to be about 10 million years old. year.
The Large Magellanic Cloud is one of several satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, smaller galaxies gravitationally bound to our galaxy.
Along with its companion, the Small Magellanic Cloud, it orbits the Milky Way and will eventually collide with our galaxy in billions of years, according to Digitartlends.
The particular star cluster is a type called an open cluster, which means that it is not as tightly bound by gravity as some other structures and has an irregular shape.
In addition, the amount of dust and gas present here means that it could be classified as an emission nebula, as light from stars in the region has ionized the gas and caused it to emit its own light.
These features make this region of scientific interest in learning about star formation.
“The stars within this young cluster are at different stages of their evolution, making it a complex group,” the Hubble scientists said. “In NGC 1858, researchers have detected a protostar, a very young nascent star, indicating that star formation within the cluster may have been active or stopped very recently.
The presence of an emission nebula also indicates that star formation occurred recently here, because the radiation required to ionize the nebula’s gas comes from stars that only live for a short time. “
The image was taken using both visible light and infrared waves.
Although Hubble operates primarily in the visible-light range, its instruments can also look into some regions of the infrared, allowing researchers to build a more complete picture of complex dust and gas structures such as nebulae.