Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pismis 24-1

Pismis 24-1 (also known as HDe 319718) is part of an open cluster in the nebula NGC 6357. Pismis 24-1 is the largest and more brilliant of the visible stars of this cluster, Pismis 24, and is one of the most massive stars known. The star is at least a double star, as revealed by the recent observation of camera ACS of the Hubble space telescope. Pismis 24-1 is composed of at least three objects, the resolved Pismis 24-1SW and the unresolved spectroscopic binary Pismis 24-1NE. The evolutionary zero-age masses of those two objects and that of the nearby Pismis 24-17 are all approximately 100 solar masses, very large but under the stellar upper mass limit.

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