Above and Beyond: Star Cluster Pismis 24

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This video shows a small cluster of stars, Pismis 24, with the brightest star, Pismis 24-1. It took high-resolution images from Hubble to show that Pismis 24-1 was really two stars orbiting each other.

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach.
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA, ESA, and STScI except:
·       Taurus constellation drawing from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
·       Winter Circle star field image created with Stellarium
·       Omega Centauri ground-based image courtesy of F. Lehman (South Florida Dark Sky Observers)
·       Photo of night sky at twilight courtesy of ESO/H. H. Heyer
·       Milky Way star field photo courtesy of ESO/C. Malin
·       Orion Nebula 3D animation courtesy of ESO/M. Kornmesser
·       Star formation animation courtesy of NCSA/NASA/A. Kritsuk and M. Norman (UC San Diego) and A. Boley (Univ. of Florida)
·       Photo of the Milky Way over the Austrian Alps copyright Babak A. Tafreshi (TWAN)
Written by Vanessa Thomas
Designed by John Godfrey

A glowing red and orange nebula. 
Text, HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE. Pismis 24. In a nebula 8,000 light-years from Earth resides a small cluster of stars called Pismis 24. 
A cluster of large bright stars above the nebula gas. 
Text, The brightest star in this image is called Pismis 24 1. 
It was once thought to be as massive as 200 to 300 suns. 
A dotted line encircles the center, brightest star in the cluster. 
Text, This would have made it the most massive star known in our galaxy. 
However, high-resolution images from the Hubble Space Telescope reveal that Pismis 24 1 is actually three stars orbiting each other. 
Each star is about a hundred times more massive than the Sun.