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M45: The Pleiades Star Cluster (Jan 9 2006) Credit & Copyright: Robert Gendler Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a light-polluted city. Also known as the Seven Sisters and M45, the Pleiades is one of the brightest and closest open clusters. The Pleiades contains over 3000 stars, is about 400 light years away, and only 13 light years across. #astronomy

M46 & M47: Star Clusters Young and Old (Apr 3 2012) Image Credit & Copyright: Sergio Eguivar (Buenos Aires Skies) Many stars form in clusters. Galactic or open star clusters are relatively young swarms of bright stars born together near the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. Separated by about a degree on the sky, two nice examples are M46 (upper left) 5,400 light-years in the distance and M47 (lower right) only 1,600 light-years away toward the nautical constellation Puppis. #astronomy

M72: A Globular Cluster of Stars (Aug 19 2012) Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HPOW Explanation: Globular clusters once ruled the Milky Way. Back in the old days, back when our Galaxy first formed, perhaps thousands of globular clusters roamed our Galaxy. Today, there are less than 200 left. Many globular clusters were destroyed over the eons by repeated fateful encounters with each other or the Galactic center. #astronomy

M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules (June 14 2012) Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh In 1716, English astronomer Edmond Halley noted, "This is but a little Patch, but it shews itself to the naked Eye, when the Sky is serene and the Moon absent." Of course, M13 is now modestly recognized as the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, one of the brightest globular star clusters in the northern sky. Telescopic views reveal the spectacular cluster's hundreds of thousands of stars #astronomy

Star Cluster R136 Bursts Out (July 29 2012) Image Credit: NASA, ESA, & F. Paresce (INAF-IASF), R. O'Connell (U. Virginia), & the HST WFC3 Science Oversight Committee In the center of star-forming region 30 Doradus lies a huge cluster of the largest, hottest, most massive stars known. These stars, known collectively as star cluster R136, were captured above in visible light by the newly installed Wide Field Camera peering though the recently refurbished Hubble Space Telescope. #astronomy #space