Multiple births on cosmic scale in distant galaxy

Aug 15, 2012, 1:23 PM EDT
This undated handout artist illustration provided by NASA shows a cosmic supermom. It's a galaxy that gives births to more stars in a day than ours does in a year. Astronomers used NASA's X-Ray telescope to spot this distant galaxy creating about 740 new stars a year.
(AP Photo/NASA)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have found a cosmic supermom. It's a galaxy that gives births to more stars in a day than ours does in a year.

Astronomers used NASA's Chandra (SHAWN'-drah) X-Ray telescope to spot this distant galaxy creating about 740 new stars a year. By comparison, our Milky Way galaxy spawns about one new star each year.

This new galaxy is about 5.7 billion light years away. It is in the center of a recently discovered cluster of galaxies that give the brightest X-ray glow astronomers have seen.

MIT astronomer Michael McDonald says the galaxy is strange in another way. It's about 6 billion years old and this type of galaxy normally doesn't birth stars at that advanced age.

The finding was reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.

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