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NGC 1333 Animations
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Tour of NGC 1333
Quicktime MPEG With closed-captions (at YouTube)

While fireworks only last a short time here on Earth, a bundle of cosmic sparklers in a nearby cluster of stars will be going off for a very long time. NGC 1333 is a star cluster populated with many young stars that are less than 2 million years old, a blink of an eye in astronomical terms for stars like the Sun that are expected to burn for billions of years.

A new composite image combines X-rays from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope as well as optical data from telescopes on the ground: the Digitized Sky Survey and the National Optical Astronomical Observatories' Mayall 4-meter telescope on Kitt Peak.

What do X-rays from Chandra tell astronomers about NGC 1333? First, the Chandra data reveal 95 young stars glowing in X-ray light, 41 of which had not been identified before. Researchers also can use the X-ray data to learn about certain properties of the young stars in NGC 1333 and other clusters like it. By using the information from different telescopes that can detect different types of light, we can get a spectacular view of these beautiful cosmic fireworks.
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(Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)




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