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10,000 light-years away in our Milky Way galaxy.
A new image taken by NASA's Spitzer space telescope shows how a few monstrous stars in a stellar nebula can create a community of smaller stars. The image is of the Carina Nebula, a well known nebula located 10,000 light-years away in our Milky Way galaxy. It contains the massive star Eta Carinae, which could explode as a supernova within our lifetime. It's surrounded by clouds of dust and gas which have been collapsed by radiation streaming off Eta Carinae to create new stars. As you get further from Eta Carinae, this process creates smaller and smaller stars.
NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft is approximately a month away from its encounter with Comet Tempel 1, and Telescopes here on Earth are being prepared to watch the spectacle, when spacecraft and Comet collide. The European Southern Observatory recently turned its massive VLT telescope on Tempel 1, to take some "before" pictures. The ESA's Rosetta spacecraft will have a view of the event, as well as Hubble, the XMM-Newton telescope, and many other spacecraft and ground-based observatories. Impact will occur on July 4.
Astronomers from the US and France have mapped out the motion of a stars in the outskirts of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), and found that they're actually part of the galaxy's main disk. This means that this spiral Galaxy is actually three times larger - 220,000 light years across - than Astronomers had previously estimated. It was previously believed that these stars were part of a Halo that surrounded Andromeda, but weren't actually part of its disk. This discovery hadn't been made until now because detecting the motion of these stars requires very precise observations.
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