Big Bang Monday: L.B.T.O.

The images captured by the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory in Arizona may not seem like much to us common folk, but to serious astronomers this is hot stuff. And with language such as “previously impossible discoveries” used in their press release, this is no casual piece of news.

And this is the best ever taken of four young stars in the Orion Trapezium cluster?

A view of four young stars in the Orion Trapezium cluster 1,350 light-years away, as seen through the LBT’s Adaptive Optics (AO). This is the best image ever taken of these stars, which are all tightly located within 1 arcsecond of each other. By comparing this 2.16 micron infrared image to past images of this group over the last 15 years, astronomers can now see the motion of each star with respect to the others. The movements show that the mini-cluster of young stars were born together, but will likely fall apart as the stars age and interact with each other.

These may not be the kind of gorgeous images (suitable for framing) we’re usually getting excited about. For the astronomers associated with this observatory — and all those who’ll benefit from this technology in the future — these images are amazing and show break-through scientific advances at their best.

No relation to the Canadian rock band BTO (Bachman Turner Overdrive), although their music could make the LBTO videos more exciting to watch.

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