NGC 6357: Cathedral to Massive Stars Image Credit: NASA, ESA and Jesús Maíz Apellániz (IAA, Spain) Explanation: How massive can a normal star be? Estimates made from distance, brightness and standard solar models had given one star in the open cluster Pismis 24 over 200 times the mass of our Sun, nearly making it the record holder.
Images from Hubble Space Telescope. Star cluster Pismis 24 hangs over the dusty clouds of NGC 6357, a nebula about 8000 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius. This picture showed that the brightest star in the cluster is in fact two stars in a tight binary orbit. Each star is about a hundred times the Sun's mass.
Star Cluster Pismis 24/Nebula NGC 6357: Pismis 24 hangs over NGC 6357, a nebula about 8000 ly away in the constellation Scorpius. This picture showed that the brightest star in the cluster is in fact two stars in a tight binary orbit. Each star is about 100 times the Sun's mass. Hubble
This cosmic vista stretches 20 degrees across constellation Taurus. It begins at the Pleiades and ends at the Hyades, two of the best known star clusters in planet Earth's sky. On top, the lovely Pleiades star cluster is about 400 light-years away. In a familiar celestial scene, the cluster stars shine through dusty clouds that scatter blue starlight. At bottom, Hyades cluster looks more spread out compared to the compact Pleiades and lies much closer, 150 light-years distant. Beautiful! (NASA)