The Sagittarius Star Cloud

The Sagittarius Star Cloud
From the Hubble Space Telescope
This  is NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's view towards the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy, where a dazzling array of stars reside. Much of our view of our galaxy is obscured by dust. Hubble peered into the Sagittarius Star Cloud, a narrow, dust-free region, providing this spectacular glimpse. Some of these stars are among the oldest inhabitants of our galaxy. By studying the older stars of our Milky Way's hub, scientists can learn more about the evolution of our galaxy.
Many of the brighter stars in this image show vivid colors. A star's color reveals its temperature, one of its most vital statistics. Knowing a star's temperature and the spectral distribution of the star's radiation allow scientists to make conclusions about its age and mass. Most blue stars are young and hot, up to ten times hotter than our Sun. They consume their fuel much faster and live shorter lives than our Sun. Red stars come in two flavors: small stars and red giants. Smaller red stars generally have a temperature about half that of our Sun, consuming their fuel slowly and thus, live the longest. Red giant stars are at the end of their lives because they have exhausted their fuel. Although many red giant stars may have been ordinary stars like our Sun, as they die they swell up in size, become much cooler, and are much more luminous then they were during the majority of their stellar life.
Image Title: The Sagittarius Star Cloud
Text based on Sagittarius Star Cloud (SGR-I) Collage Page
Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Back to star clusters index.

Back to index.

© Copyright 2000 Outreach Consortium. All Rights Reserved.

Last Modified On: Saturday, December 16, 2000