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Douglas Isbell
NOAO Public
Information Officer
(520) 318-8214
disbell@noao.edu

Peter Michaud
International Gemini Observatory
Phone: (808) 974-2510
pmichaud@gemini.edu

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Three massive dust cocoons seen in Gemini North observations taken by Kelsey Johnson with the University of Florida's OSCIR mid-infrared imager show "super star clusters" deep in the heart of the starburst galaxy Henize 2-10 that are less than a million years old, analogous to the first day of life for a human.

These observations correspond to at least three of the embedded radio sources (white contours) discovered in Henize 2-10 by Kobulnicky & Johnson in 1999. Astronomers believe these embedded star clusters represent the early stages of globular cluster formation.

The dust cocoons may provide a glimpse into conditions in the early Universe when galaxies were forming and the ancient massive star clusters surrounding our Milky Way galaxy were created.

Credit: Gemini Observatory/National Science Foundation/University of Colorado

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