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Wide Field Imager image of Westerlund 1 (unannotated)

This image of the young star cluster Westerlund 1 was taken with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. This remarkable cluster contains hundreds of very massive stars, some shining with a brilliance of almost one million suns. Although most stars in the cluster are hot blue supergiants, they appear reddish in this image as they are seen through interstellar dust and gas. European astronomers have for the first time demonstrated that the magnetar — an unusual type of neutron star with an extremely strong magnetic field — that lies in the cluster was formed from a star with at least 40 times as much mass as the Sun. The result presents great challenges to current theories of how stars evolve, as a star as massive as this was expected to become a black hole, not a magnetar.

Credit:

ESO

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About the Image

Id:eso1034c
Type:Observation
Release date:18 August 2010, 12:00
Related releases:eso1034
Size:1261 x 1261 px

About the Object

Name:Westerlund 1
Type:• X - Stars
Distance:15000 light years
Constellation:Ara

Image Formats

Large JPEG
556.2 KB
Screensize JPEG
282.6 KB

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Wallpapers

1024x768
292.6 KB
1280x1024
488.3 KB
1600x1200
679.7 KB
1920x1200
784.4 KB
2048x1536
1.0 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):16 47 4.02
Position (Dec):-45° 51' 5.46"
Field of view:5.00 x 5.00 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.1° right of vertical
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Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
451 nm MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
WFI
Optical
V
539 nm MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
WFI
Optical
R
651 nm MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
WFI

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