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Star Cluster

Image of a Typical Open Cluster

In young Open Clusters like this one, it is common to find remnants of the nebular material from which the cluster's stars were born.

Image of a Typical Globular Cluster

A typical Globular Cluster. About 250 of these huge spherical clusters swarm around the Milky Way Galaxy.

A general term for a group of related stars. There are two basic types of star cluster: Open and Globular. Open Clusters represent stellar 'siblings': stars born in the same stellar nursery that develop together. Globular Clusters tend to be larger, and are normally found in intergalactic space, outside the disc of the Milky Way.

The Hyades

In comparison with most star clusters, the Open Cluster known as the Hyades is very close to the Solar System. Just 150 light years away, the individual stars are clearly visible to the naked eye, forming the 'face' of Taurus the Bull. The Hyades occupy the same area of the sky as the bright orange star Aldebaran (shown to the left in this image), though in fact Aldebaran is not part of the cluster, and lies much closer to Earth.

The Double Cluster or Sword Handle in Perseus combines a pair of striking open clusters just a few hundred light years apart. The cluster to the east (left) is Chi Persei or NGC 884, the more distant of the two, while the cluster to the west (right) is h Persei or NGC 869. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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