NASA has released a composite image of the star cluster Trumpler 14, compiled from data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope between 2005 - 2006. The cluster is located roughly 8,000 light-years from Earth in the Carina nebula.
Whilst the cluster is only estimated to be 500,000 years old, a number of the stellar bodies contained in the image are burning up their supply of hydrogen at such an alarming rate that they are expected to go supernova in the space of a few million years – the blink of an eye in cosmological terms.
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When this occurs, the resultant shock waves from the explosions will carve out vast cavities in the clouds of dust and gas that permeate the region. Disturbing the material in this manner will provide the catalyst needed to kick start the process of creating the next generation of stars.
Last year, Hubble celebrated its 25th year of life in low-Earth orbit, during which time the venerated telescope has granted us countless insights into the majestic nature of our universe.