Universe Guide

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 about 12,100.00 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.

Travel Time to Westerlund - 1

The time it will take to travel to this star is dependent on how fast you are going. U.G. has done some calculations as to how long it will take going at differing speeds. A note about the calculations, when I'm talking about years, I'm talking non-leap years only (365 days).

The New Horizons space probe is the fastest probe that we've sent into space at the time of writing. Its primary mission was to visit Pluto which at the time of launch (2006), Pluto was still a planet.

DescriptionSpeed (m.p.h.)Time (years)
Airbus A38073611,025,083,166.98
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.26910,575,770,962.86
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.545,287,878,589.61
New Horizons Probe33,000245,892,763.97
Speed of Light670,616,629.0012,100.00

Fact File

NameWesterlund - 1
TypeStar Cluster
Right Ascension16:47:04.0
Distance (Lt.Yr)12,100

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