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Peter Michaud
International Gemini Observatory
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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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NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. Last updated 4 June, 2001.

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