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News Release 4 of 4

January 11, 2012 10:30 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2012-03

Rare Ultra-blue Stars Found in Neighboring Galaxy's Hub

An American Astronomical Society Meeting Release

January 11, 2012: Peering deep inside the hub of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered a large, rare population of hot, bright stars. While Hubble has spied these ultra-blue stars before in Andromeda, the new observation covers a much broader area, revealing that these stellar misfits are scattered throughout the galaxy's bustling center.

Astronomers used Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 to find roughly 8,000 of the ultra-blue stars in a stellar census made in ultraviolet light, which traces the glow of the hottest stars. The study is part of the multi-year Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury survey to map stellar populations across the Andromeda galaxy. The team's results are being presented today at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin, Texas.

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WIYN/KPNO Image Credit: T. Rector and B. Wolpa (NOAO/AURA/NSF)

Hubble Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and B. Williams and J. Dalcanton (University of Washington, Seattle)