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NGC 6167

One of a number of open star clusters within the boundaries of Norma, NGC 6167 lies very near that constellation's eastern border, where it meets Ara the Altar. This cluster lies within the Galactic disc, and so appears in the heart of the Milky Way in the sky. It is nearly four thousand light years away from the Solar System, and is invisible to the naked eye, though it can be detected through even a relatively modest telescope.

NGC 6167 is a young cluster, no more than about 10 million years old, containing new and hot blue stars somewhat like the much more familiar and considerably closer Pleiades. These stars are packed closely together, so that the core of the main cluster has a diameter of only about ten light years.