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Giant Short-Lived Stars Found in 'Little Fox' Constellation, 8,000 Light Years Away

Jun 02, 2016 03:33 AM EDT
True-Color Deep Space Image Taken In Southern Sky
The infrared technology used by the Herschel Space Observatory helps scientists to observe a vast part of the universe. Because of this technology, a group of new born, giant stars were discovered in the middle of the Vulpecula or the "Little Fox" constellation.
(Photo : ESO/Getty Images)

Man's knowledge about the outer space is limited to what man-made technology can reach. And as the science progressed, more facts regarding the surrounding galaxies are being discovered today. Just like the new-born stars spotted within the Vulpecula constellation known as the "Little Fox". These giant stars lived a fairly shorter life than the rest of the known stars in the universe which makes its discovery more significant to experts.

The Herschel Space Observatory was launched in 2009 by the European Space Agency (ESA) with the help of NASA. It is the largest infrared telescope in the outer space today. Herschel is capable of studying the light of the galaxies using its infrared technology. Because of this technology, scientists were able to investigate large portions of the universe. Its latest discovery is a group of giant stars within the Little Fox constellation which is 8,000 light years away from Earth.

According to NASA, Herschel discovered a group of newly born giant stars known as a 'stellar association' in the Vulpecula OB1 region. Category "O" and "B" stars are said to be the largest stars that can be born. Based form Herschel's findings, it was revealed that the newly discovered giants are currently some of the biggest in the galaxy known to men. But these stars burn their fuel so quickly that they don't last as long as the others. The OB stars are estimated to live for 2 million years after which they collapse into supernovas, which will then give life to other stars to start another star-birth cycle.

The birthing process of new stars is as fascinating as it looks.

"The vast quantities of ultraviolet and other radiation emitted by these stars is compressing the surrounding cloud, causing nearby regions of dust and gas to begin the collapse into more new stars," said ESA in a press release.

The new stars will then 'eat' the materials around it transforming space materials to new stars, which is probably the reason why these stars are seen in groups.

Although generally short-lived, the newly discovered stars in the middle of Little Fox are said to be 16 times bigger than the Sun, over 100 times as massive and 25,000 to 30,000 times brighter, said NASA.

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