Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
Caption: The aging of star clusters is linked more with their lifestyle than with how old they actually are, according to a new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope study coauthored by Penn State astronomer Steinn Sigurdsson and other scientists, and led by Francesco Ferraro of the University of Bologna in Italy. The research reveals, for the first time, that each star cluster has its own internal clock, some of which are ticking slower than others. This illustration shows how blue-straggler stars become heavier than normal stars in star clusters. Blue stragglers are the result of stellar collisions (upper panel) or vampirism between two companion stars (lower panel).
Credit: ESA Cosmic Lab
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