Segments in this Video

Unlocking the Mystery of Stars (06:01)


Cosmic clusters hold the keys to unlocking the mystery of how stars are born, live, and die. The Pleiades cluster contains 1,000 stars. Astronomers measure the distance of stars from Earth by analyzing their brightness.

Ursa Major: The Big Dipper (03:50)

The stars in the Ursa Major group move together almost as one. This is because these stars were made at the same time. Ursa Major exists in an open star cluster, a loosely bound aggregation of stars.

Orion: Trapezium Cluster (02:10)

Located at the center of the Orion Nebula is a group of four young, massive stars, collectively referred to as the "Trapezium." It is surrounded by a halo of 1,000 faint, low-mass stars similar to the Sun.

Massive Star Clusters (03:05)

If nebulas are the stellar nurseries of the cosmos, star clusters are their "grade school." Infrared detectors make visible massive star clusters like Westerlund 1 that contains supermassive "galactic freaks" in a range of sizes and colors.

Supergiant Stars (03:15)

Supergiant stars are collectively called "evolved massive stars." They have burned out their nuclear hydrogen fuel, and may transform into supernovas. The Sun will evolve into a red giant. Scientists use technology to discover many new star clusters.

Quintuplet Star Cluster (01:35)

The Quintuplet Cluster is located within 100 light-years of the galactic center and is home to the brightest star yet cataloged in our galaxy: the Pistol Star. Objects near our galactic center are usually hidden from view by opaque dust.

Arches Cluster (02:55)

The Arches star cluster is the densest cluster of massive young stars known. The cluster is a major landmark in our galaxy. It is here that science learns just how massive stars can get.

Globular Clusters (04:50)

A globular cluster may contain up to a million stars. These clusters are nearly as old as the universe itself. Scientists do not yet know how globular clusters were formed. Most globular clusters exist in the halo of the galaxy.

When Galaxies Collide (04:18)

The heart of the galaxy known as M87 contains 15,000 globular clusters. It sits at the core of a cluster of galaxies that, over time, merge with one another, sometimes colliding at one million miles per hour.

Galactic Gas (03:35)

Galaxies are sometimes gas-rich and others are gas-poor. Gas-rich galaxies tend to form stars. The action inside galaxy clusters is incredibly violent. As the galaxy travels through a cluster, gasses are stripped away from it.

Supercomputers and Simulations (04:13)

Powerful computer simulations give scientists a look into the past to find out how the universe evolved. Simulations show how gravity makes the planets or stars move in space.

Cosmic Clustering Phenomenon (03:11)

Using supercomputers, scientists study not only the past, but they can predict the future of the universe. In the Millennium Run, ten billion galaxies were manipulated in supercomputers to show hundreds of millions of galaxies.

Credits: The Search for Cosmic Clusters (00:35)

Credits: The Search for Cosmic Clusters

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The Search for Cosmic Clusters

Part of the Series : The Universe
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



This program goes in search of cosmic clusters, astronomy’s “one-stop shopping place” for learning all about the nature and variety of stars in the universe. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. A part of the series The Universe. (45 minutes)

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL43163

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

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