Star on a Hubble diet

The star cluster Pismis 24 lies in the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357 that extends one degree on the sky in the direction of the Scorpius constellation. Part of the nebula is ionised by the youngest (bluest) heavy stars in Pismis 24. The intense ultraviolet radiation from the blazing stars heats the gas surrounding the cluster and creates a bubble in NGC 6357. The presence of these surrounding gas clouds makes probing into the region even harder.

One of the top candidates for the title of "Milky Way stellar heavyweight champion" was, until now, Pismis 24-1, a bright young star that lies in the core of the small open star cluster Pismis 24 (the bright stars in the Hubble image) about 8,000 light-years away from Earth. Pismis 24-1 was thought to have an incredibly large mass of 200 to 300 solar masses. New NASA/ESA Hubble measurements of the star, have, however, resolved Pismis 24-1 into two separate stars, and, in doing so, have "halved" its mass to around 100 solar masses.

Credit:

NASA, ESA and Jesús Maíz Apellániz (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Spain). Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble)

About the Image

NASA caption
Id:heic0619a
Type:Observation
Release date:11 December 2006, 19:30
Related releases:heic0619
Size:3140 x 5057 px

About the Object

Name:Pismis 24, Pismis 24-1
Type:• Milky Way : Star : Grouping : Cluster
• X - Star Clusters Images/Videos
• X - Nebulae Images/Videos
Distance:8000 light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
550 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
547 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
H-alpha
656 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
H-alpha + Nii
658 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
850 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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