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Purple ‘firework streamers’ spotted 8,000 light-years from Earth

A galaxy that sits 8,000 light-years away from Earth is setting off ‘firework streamers’ of gas in honor of the birth of a giant cluster.

The development takes about a million years to complete, astronomers noted as they observed the new group called G286.21+0.17.

Using the Actacama Large Millimeter/submillimetter Array, the team was able to witness gas forming individual stars.

NASA’s Hubble Telescope also took a look, revealing a large group of stars bursting out from one side of the cloud. 

Most of the universe was formed in massive star clusters, which experts say are the building blocks of galaxies.

However, scientists have yet to solve the puzzle how they form from dense molecular clouds.

The purple ‘fireworks’ were observed by Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, which is a collection of 66 radio telescopes located in the Atacama Desert in Chile.

The dense clouds made of molecular gas are shown in bright purple and the telescope captured gas falling into the cluster and forming cores that develop into individual stars.

Yu Cheng of the University of Virginia said: ‘This image shows stars in various stages of formation within this single cluster.’

‘Overall the process may take at least a million years to complete.

Hubble captured the creation in infrared, which shows winds and radiation from the largest of stars blasting away from the molecular clouds – leaving behind hot, glowing dust.  

Co-author Jonathan Tan of Chalmers University in Sweden and the University of Virginia, said: ‘This illustrates how dynamic and chaotic the process of star birth is.’

 ‘We see competing forces in action: gravity and turbulence from the cloud on one side, and stellar winds and radiation pressure from the young stars on the other. This process sculpts the region.’

‘It is amazing to think that our own Sun and planets were once part of such a cosmic dance.’

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