The Hubble Space Telescope has photographed an unusual spiraling star formation at the center of the Small Magellanic Cloud. It is located at a distance of 200,000 light years from Earth, according to the NASA website.
In the image, young stars can be seen spiraling into the center of the huge star cluster NGC 346 in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.
Astrophysicists have used two separate methods of observation, using the Hubble Telescope and the Very Large Telescope (VLT), to show that the cluster’s shape is due to stars and gas spiraling into the cluster’s center inside the Small Magellanic Cloud.
According to astrophysicists, the «outer arm» of the spiral can accelerate star formation due to the movement of gas and stars. It turned out that stars in a spiral move at an average speed of 3200 km per hour. In 11 years, they covered a distance of 320 million km.
The mass of the NGC 346 nebula is estimated at 50,000 suns. It is the most active star forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The cluster is of particular interest to scientists because it contains many newly formed stars of varying masses. About 60% of the stars in the cluster are no more than 5 billion years old (htnews.ru).