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Star cluster RCW 38

The dense star cluster RCW 38 glistens about 5,500 light years away in the direction of the constellation Vela (the Sails). RCW 38 is an "embedded" cluster, in that the nascent cloud of dust and gas still envelops its stars. There, young, titanic stars bombard fledgling suns and planets with powerful winds and large amount of light, helped in their devastating task by short-lived, massive stars that explode as supernovae. In some cases, this energetic onslaught cooks away the matter that may eventually form new planetary systems. Scientists think that our own Solar System emerged from such a dramatic environment.

This image was obtained with the Wide Field Imager instrument on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at La Silla, using data collected through four filters (B, V, R and H-alpha). The field of view is about 10 arcminutes.

Credit:

ESO

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About the Image

Id:eso0929b
Type:Observation
Release date:19 August 2009
Related releases:eso0929
Size:2946 x 2944 px

About the Object

Name:RCW 38
Type:• Milky Way : Star : Grouping : Cluster
• X - Star Clusters
Distance:5500 light years
Constellation:Vela

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.5 MB
Screensize JPEG
233.2 KB

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2048x1536
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Coordinates

Position (RA):8 59 7.92
Position (Dec):-47° 31' 45.78"
Field of view:11.68 x 11.67 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 1.6° right of vertical
View in WorldWide Telescope:
View in WorldWide Telescope

Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Optical
B
MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
WFI
Optical
Pseudogreen (B+R)
MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
WFI
Optical
H-alpha
MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
WFI
Optical
R
MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
WFI

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