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Westerlund - 1 Facts

Westerlund - 1 Facts Star Cluster in Ara

Westerlund - 1 is a star cluster object of interest in space. It lies at a distance of 12.1 k light years away in the constellation of Ara.

The Star Cluster's location is 16:47:04.0 (R.A.) and -45:51:09.4 (Dec.).

Westerlund 1, not to be confused with Westerlund 1-26 is a young super star cluster that was discovered by Swedish astronomer Bengt Westerlund hence their name. Westerlund 1 is also referred to as the Ara Cluster, named after the constellation that it inhabits. Westerlund 1 does include the massive giant star that is 1-26.

All the stars in the cluster are thought to be about roughly the same age, at about three million years old. When you compare that against the Sun which is estimated at 5 billion years old, you can understand just how young they are. To put it in another context, the dinosaurs had been been and gone even before the star cluster was born. SpaceTelescope

Some of the stars in the picture might be vampire stars or blue stragglers, these are stars that feed off other stars and give themselves the impression that they are younger than they really are.

Fact File


NameWesterlund - 1
TypeStar Cluster
ConstellationAra
Right Ascension16:47:04.0
Declination-45:51:09.4
Distance (Lt.Yr)12.1 k


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