New Insights from NASA’s Chandra Reveal the Secrets of Super Star Cluster Westerlund 1.


Westerlund 1, the largest and closest super star cluster to Earth, is offering astronomers a deeper understanding of star formation thanks to new data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The cluster, which lies about 13,000 light-years away, is a galactic powerhouse where stars are vigorously being produced.

This revelation comes from the Extended Westerlund 1 and 2 Open Clusters Survey (EWOCS), led by Italian astronomers. Chandra’s 12-day observation has tripled the known X-ray sources in the cluster, identifying nearly 6,000 sources, including many young stars and a halo of hot gas.

Westerlund 1, aged between 3 and 5 million years, provides a unique laboratory for studying the impact of a super star cluster’s environment on star and planet formation. With a mass between 50,000 and 100,000 Suns, this cluster sheds light on an era when the Milky Way was bustling with star formation.

The findings are detailed in a paper published in Astronomy and Astrophysics, with further studies planned to delve into the cluster’s most intense X-ray sources and its overall mass.

For more information, visit NASA’s Chandra Observatory.

Surendra Uikey

My name is Surendra Uikey, I am a science blogger, I have been blogging for the past three years, because I love to write, especially on astronomy, and I believe, if you want to learn something, then start learning others, By this it will be, that you learn things in a better way. In 2019, I started, the aim of making was to connect astronomy in simple words to common people.

Leave a ReplyCancel reply