New stars forming in the Phoenix cluster

Astronomers have found an extraordinary galaxy cluster, one of the largest objects in the universe, that is breaking several important cosmic records.

Stars are forming in the Phoenix cluster at the highest rate ever observed for the middle of a galaxy cluster. The data also suggest the rate of hot gas cooling in the central regions of the cluster is the largest ever observed.

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The Phoenix cluster is located about 5.7 billion light years from Earth.

The Phoenix cluster originally was detected by the National Science Foundation’s South Pole Telescope, and later was observed in optical light by the Gemini Observatory in Chile.