Phoenix Galaxy Cluster

Phoenix Cluster Image courtesy M. McDonald, CXC/Caltech/NOAO/AURA/MIT/NASA.

This could well become my new mascot for my production company, Phoenix Functions. 5.7 billion light-years ago from Earth, the Phoenix Cluster was an island of thousands of galaxies. Reported in National Geographic, it’s so massive that our own galaxy group—not quite a cluster, at about 30 galaxies, including the Milky Way—has only about 0.1 percent the mass of Phoenix. The galaxy at the center of the Phoenix Cluster appears to be in an active “starburst” period—birthing more than 740 stars a year. Well that’s impressive, and, although 5.7 billion years ago, it must be still an impressive cluster. I can only vaguely imagine the implications for organic, even sentient life developing in other galaxies, with this rate of star formation.

 

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