Featured Image: A Double Cluster

This is a color composite image from Hubble of the very young star cluster Westerlund 2, seen near the center of the image (click for the full view!). The image was produced using visible-light data from the Advanced Camera for Surveys and near-infrared data from the Wide Field Camera 3. A recently-published study, led by Peter Zeidler (Center for Astronomy at Heidelberg University), reports the results of a high-resolution multi-band survey of the Westerlund 2 region with Hubble. In their detailed analysis of the cluster, the authors cataloged over 17,000 objects in six different filters! They find that the cluster actually consists of two separate clumps that were born at the same time but have different stellar densities. For more information and the original image, see the paper here:


Peter Zeidler et al 2015 AJ 150 78. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/3/78