Hubble finds young super star cluster, giant star

The Hubble Space Telescope has returned images of the young star cluster Westerlund 1 and one of the largest stars ever discovered, Westerlund 1-26. Photo courtesy of ESA/Hubble & NASA

March 10 (UPI) — NASA scientists have gotten a closer look at one of the largest stars ever discovered in a super star cluster, thanks to images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

A new image from Hubble has revealed a young super star cluster called Westerlund 1, home to a gigantic star known as Westerlund 1-26.

Westerlund 1 is a star cluster 15,000 light-years away from Earth in the Milky Way galaxy.

Stars are classified by their spectral type, surface temperature and luminosity. Westerlund 1-26 is a red supergiant with a radius over 1,500 times that of the sun.

According to scientists, if Westerlund 1-26 was placed next to the sun, it would extend beyond the orbit of Jupiter.

The surrounding stars in the clusters are believed to have been formed at the same time as Westerlund 1-26 and are thought to be around 3 million years old. Westerlund 1-26 is relatively young compared to the sun, which is 4.6 billion years old.

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