NEW COMPOSITE IMAGE OF NGC 2264 - Happy and Merry Christmas
In the true sense of Planetary Society, India's motto: Cosmic Understanding for Universal Brotherhood.
We Wish you a Happy and Merry Christmas with the following article based on NASA's latest composite image/Article of NGC 2264
Our Sun has been shining for 4.6 billion years; it is one among countless other stars that twinkle in the night sky. Our Sun also plays the role of a planetary host, with Earth and its cosmic companions elegantly revolving around it. Here is an image of a cluster of stars and gas situated 2,500 light-years away from Earth in our Milky Way. Scientifically, it is called NGC 2264 and was captured by NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory in the latest composite image. The exact number of stars in this cluster is unknown. Compared to our Sun, the stars in the "cluster of stars" are young. This cluster, NGC 2264, is popularly known as the Christmas Tree Cluster.
Furthermore, if we examine the age of the stars in this picture of NGC 2264 and compare it to our Sun, they are young stars ranging between about one and five million years old, whereas our Sun is 4.6 billion years old. The stars we see in this image, compared to our Sun, vary in size, ranging from some with less than a tenth of the mass of the Sun to others containing about seven solar masses.
The name "Christmas Tree Cluster" is no coincidence; its tree-like shape, enhanced by image processing and rotation, mirrors both the presentation and the natural arrangement of stars and gas. Join NASA on a visual journey through space, witnessing the glow of stellar lights in this enchanting cosmic tree. Check out the picture online for more details or visit https://t.co/VT2WaLgp77.
Questions to think about:
1. Like many stars in the cosmos. Will these young stars of the NGC 2264 star cluster have their own planets?
2. As the light from these stars/cluster takes nearly 2500 years even after traveling at the speed of light i.e. 3 lakh km/sec. What could be the present situation at this star cluster or individual stars in this cluster?
3. As the article says there are many stars in this cluster with different ages (1 to 5 Million years) and sizes. How would be end of these stars be?
Here are some more images which have been discussed
This object, called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light-years away, in the constellation of Aquarius.(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)