NASA's Kepler watches stellar dancers in Pleiades cluster!
The US space agency NASA has released a beautiful image of the Pleiades cluster of stars which was seen through the eyes of WISE, or its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.
New Delhi: The US space agency NASA has released a beautiful image of the Pleiades cluster of stars which was seen through the eyes of WISE, or its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.
The stars of the Pleiades cluster were spinning like the cosmic ballet dancers. But these celestial dancers are all twirling at different speeds and astronomers have wondered what determines the rotation rates of these stars.
According to NASA, Kepler space telescope during its K2 mission has helped amass the most complete catalog of rotation periods for stars in a cluster. This can also help astronomers gain insight into where and how planets form around these stars, and how such stars evolve.
Luisa Rebull, a research scientist at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech in Pasadena, California, said, 'We hope that by comparing our results to other star clusters, we will learn more about the relationship between a star’s mass, its age, and even the history of its solar system.'
As per reports, the Pleiades star cluster is one of the closest and most easily seen star clusters, residing just 445 light-years away from Earth, on average. At about 125 million years old, these stars -- known individually as Pleiades -- have reached stellar "young adulthood." In this stage of their lives, the stars are likely spinning the fastest they ever will.