Week’s Best Space Pictures: Titan Winks, Rover Strikes, and Suns Burn
Infant stars illuminate, a rover drills, and tragedies scar our own planet.
This May 7 peek by not one but two NASA space telescopes lays bare secrets hidden in the heart of the Flame Nebula. There a stellar nursery, the star cluster NGC 2024, has older stars (some 1.5 million years old) around its outer edges and younger ones (only about 200,000 years old) at its center.
This discovery, revealed by combining an infrared view from the Spitzer Space Telescope and an x-ray image from the Chandra telescope, surprised astronomers. They'd expected the cluster's oldest stars to be at its center, cooking up new stars at its edges.
"Our findings are counterintuitive," said study leader Konstantin Getman of Penn State University, in a statement. "It means we need to think harder and