ESO’S LASILLA OBSERVATORY CAPTURES NGC 3572 LIKE NEVER BEFORE
Image Credit & Copyright: ESO Photo Ambassador Giacomo Beccari. CLICK image for huge view and look below for information and related links.
This is NGC 3572; it was discovered by John Herschel on March 14, 1834 and it’s a young open cluster of massive stars that have recently formed together and are getting their first looks at the surrounding cosmos. These stars, like most, do not form alone but in groups or clusters. As these stars form it’s important to note, they are not twins but simply siblings. They come in different masses, size, color and temperature which equates to different lengths of lifetimes and death will occur in different ways as well.
The red portion of this image is what’s left of the molecular cloud that gave birth to these bright blue stars. It is now being morphed and sculpted as the newborn stars are in the process of showering it with violent interstellar winds. As you can see, around the stars there’s not much left of the star forming region. As the nebula begins to lose ground to the forces of the stars, the more dense regions of the nebula are harder to push away, thus, take longer to dissipate. That creates these beautiful formations and “elephant trunks” that we see in this nebula. There is also a peculiar ring or bubble located in the heart of the new cluster. It’s an odd place for it to remain but it’s believed to be a very dense glob of material that’s taking its last stand of sorts. Possibly, a material pocket that was close to itself birthing a star.
As we see in all open star clusters, they are a beautiful family but they don’t stick together forever. As with many of today’s modern families, as they age they become gravitationally disbanded and attracted to other objects. Many larger, fast burning stars will die young in violently spectacular ways and some will die like our sun; in a beautiful planetary nebula, leaving a legacy to be studied for many lifetimes.
NAME: NGC 3572.
WHAT IS IT?: Open star cluster.
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: Roughly 6500 light years.
HOW BIG IS IT? 30’ X 20’ arcminutes on the night sky.
APPARENT MAGNITUDE: 6.6 or +6.6.
WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Carina (The Keel).
WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 11h 10m 23.09d / DEC -60° 14′ 53.10″.
European Southern Observatory (ESO) page for this image: http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1347a/
ESO information page for this image: http://www.eso.org/public/usa/news/eso1347/
SIMBAD data page for NGC 3572: http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=NGC+3572