NASA: Burst of Celestial Fireworks(绽放在天空的烟花)


Like a July 4 fireworks display, a young, glittering collection of stars resembles an aerial burst. The cluster is surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust – the raw material for new star formation. The nebula, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, contains a central cluster of huge, hot stars, called NGC 3603.

就像7月4日的焰火表演(每年的7月4日是美国独立日,荒原之梦注),一群年轻的,如同闪亮的收藏品一般的星星就像在空中爆炸一样。星团被由气体和尘埃组成的星云包围——这是新星球形成的原料。这些星云位于两万光年外的Carina星座,被叫做NGC 3603,其中包含了一个巨大的热恒星群。

Appearing colorful and serene, this environment is anything but. Ultraviolet radiation and violent stellar winds have blown out an enormous cavity in the gas and dust enveloping the cluster. Most of the stars in the cluster were born around the same time but differ in size, mass, temperature and color. The course of a star’s life is determined by its mass, so a cluster of a given age will contain stars in various stages of their lives, giving an opportunity for detailed analyses of stellar life cycles. NGC 3603 also contains some of the most massive stars known. These huge stars live fast and die young, burning through their hydrogen fuel quickly and ultimately ending their lives in supernova explosions.

这是一个五彩缤纷的,充满了各种可能的世界。紫外线和剧烈的恒星风暴在包裹着星团的气体和尘埃之中吹出了一个巨大的空洞。星团中的大部分星体都是在同一时间诞生的,但是它们却有着不同的大小、质量、温度和颜色。一个星体的生命进程是由它的质量所决定的,因此,一个给定年龄的星团将包含各种生命阶段的星体,这提供了一个对星球生命周期进行详细分析的机会。NGC 3603中还包含了一些已知质量最高的星体。这些巨大的星体的生命很“短暂”,在很年轻的时候它们就会消亡,这些巨大的星体在它们的氢燃料中快速得燃烧,最终在超新星爆炸中结束生命。

Star clusters like NGC 3603 provide important clues to understanding the origin of massive star formation in the early, distant universe. Astronomers also use massive clusters to study distant starbursts that occur when galaxies collide, igniting a flurry of star formation. The proximity of NGC 3603 makes it an excellent lab for studying such distant and momentous events.

像NGC 3603这样的星团提供了理解在遥远的宇宙早期大质量星体形成的重要线索。天文学家还利用大质量星团来研究星系碰撞导致的远距离星暴并产生许多星体的现象。NGC 3603的临近性使得它成为研究如此遥远和重大的事件的绝佳实验室。

This Hubble Space Telescope image was captured in August 2009 and December 2009 with the Wide Field Camera 3 in both visible and infrared light, which trace the glow of sulfur, hydrogen, and iron.

这张来自哈勃太空望远镜的照片是在2009年8月和同年12月使用Field 3号广角相机通过可见光和红外线捕捉到的,这台相机可以追踪来自硫元素、氢元素和铁元素的辉光。

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, R. O’Connell (University of Virginia), F. Paresce (National Institute for Astrophysics, Bologna, Italy), E. Young (Universities Space Research Association/Ames Research Center), the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Last Updated: July 4, 2018
Editor: Yvette Smith