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ESO's VLT captures cosmic superbubble


ESO’s Very Large Telescope has been used to obtain this view of the nebula LHA 120-N 44 surrounding the star cluster NGC 1929. Photo: ESO/Manu Mejias.

CHILE (BNS): The European Southern Observatory's (ESO's) Very Large Telescope in Chile has recently captured a striking view of giant nebula surrounding a star cluster called NGC-1929, located in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The Large Magellanic Cloud is a small neighbouring galaxy to the Milky Way. It contains many regions where clouds of gas and dust are forming new stars.

According to the scientists, it is a colossal example of what astronomers call a superbubble dominates this stellar nursery. It is being carved by the winds from bright young stars and the shockwaves from supernova explosions.

The nebula, officially known as LHA-120-N-44, measures 325 by 250 light years across.

The N 44 superbubble has been produced by the combination of two processes. Firstly, stellar winds — streams of charged particles from the very hot and massive stars in the central cluster — cleared out the central region. Then massive cluster stars exploded as supernovae creating shockwaves and pushing the gas out further to form the glowing bubble.

Although the superbubble is shaped by destructive forces, new stars are forming around the edges where the gas is being compressed. Like recycling on a cosmic scale, this next generation of stars will breathe fresh life into NGC 1929, ESO news report added.

The image was created by ESO from observational data identified by Manu Mejias, from Argentina.

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