NASA’s Chandra X-ray Telescope Captures Closest Cluster of Superstars to Earth (Image)

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s a super star cluster! NASA’s Chandra X-ray telescope has imaged a star cluster that is “super” in every way. Westerlund 1 is super big, super massive, super young, super close – and it’s creating stars at a super fast rate.

Westerlund 1 is about 13,000 light-years away from Earth—which means it’s very close, relatively speaking—and the 3- to 5-million-year-old star cluster is about 7 light-years across. If that age doesn’t seem particularly young to you, remember that our middle-age solar system is about 4.6 BILLION years old. Westerlund 1 also has a mass equal to 100,000 suns, and is one of the few remaining super star clusters in the Milky Way.

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