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Chaos at the Heart of Orion - Four monstrously massive stars, collectively called the "Trapezium," at the center of the cloud may be the main culprits in the Orion constellation, a familiar sight in the fall and winter night sky in the northern hemisphere. Their community can be identified as the yellow smudge near the center of the image.
When Astronomers needed to name a new star cluster within NGC 2264 (the Christmas Tree Cluster), they chose the name “Snowflake Cluster” to fit a festive theme. The Snowflake Cluster can be seen above the brightest star in the nebula (near the center). NASA/ESO(top)/Spitzer(bottom)/Simbad/NOAO
M45: The Pleiades Star Cluster Image 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. Low mass, faint, brown dwarfs have also been found in the Pleiades.
An eerie blue glow and ominous columns of dark dust highlight M78 and other bright reflection nebula in Orion. The dark filamentary dust not only absorbs light, but also reflects the light of several bright blue stars that formed recently in the nebula. Of the two reflection nebulas pictured above, the more famous nebula is M78, in the image center, while NGC 2071 can be seen to its lower left. The same type of scattering that colors the daytime sky further enhances the blue color.
Hyades for the Holidays Image Credit & Copyright: Jerry Lodriguss (Catching the Light) Explanation: Recognized since antiquity and depicted on the shield of Achilles according to Homer, stars of the Hyades cluster form the head of the constellation Taurus the Bull. Their general V-shape is anchored by Aldebaran, the eye of the Bull and by far the constellation's brightest star.
Luis Argerich-The Pipe Nebula The "pipe" is an enormous area towards the center of the Milky Way where dust hides the stars in the background. The globular cluster M19 can be seen at the top of the photo and the popular "snake" nebula near the left border
The star cluster of the Pleiades is one of the brightest and nearest open star clusters in the sky. Also known as the Seven Sisters, the brightest stars are young blue giants, all younger than 100 million years. In about 250 million years, gravitational forces will tear the cluster apart and the stars will scatter. There is about 3000 stars total in this cluster which is only about 13 light years across. It's roughly 400 light years away in the constellation Taurus.