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  • Brett

    A Jewel Box of Stars, clusters, Crux, jewel box, NGC 4755, space, stars

  • DV Honeyman

    The great variety of star colors in this open cluster underlies its name: The Jewel Box. One of the bright central stars is a red supergiant, in contrast to the many blue stars that surround it. The cluster, also known as Kappa Crucis contains just over 100 stars, and is about 10 million years old. Open clusters are younger, contain few stars, and contain a much higher fraction of blue stars than do globular clusters. This Jewel Box lies about 6,400 light-years away

  • Gillian Futcher

    A Jewel Box of stars image by Dieter Willasch. This cluster of stars is about 6,400 light years away from earth so the light we see today was emitted even before the Egyptian pyramids were built.

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For reasons unknown, NGC 6357 is forming some of the most massive stars ever discovered. The central part of NGC 6357 shown spans about 10 light years and lies about 8,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Scorpion. Credit: NASA

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

NGC 346 in the Small Magellanic Cloud - Astronomy Picture of the Day, 17 October 2010

Crimson Flares. NGC 6188 is an emission nebula about 4000 ly away in the constellation Ara. Within NGC 6188 is an open cluster of bright young stars (the Ara OB1 association) known as NGC 6193. In the bottom left hand corner is a small emission nebula NGC 6164-5. The star in the middle of the nebula is believed to have created the gas cloud and causes it to glow by virtue of the UV light it emits. That gas was likely thrown off from the star, possibly by its fast rotation.

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What powers are being wielded in the Wizard Nebula? Gravitation strong enough to form stars, and stellar winds and radiations powerful enough to create and dissolve towers of gas. Located only 8,000 light years away, the Wizard nebula, pictured above, surrounds developing open star cluster NGC 7380. Visually, the interplay of stars, gas, and dust has created a shape that appears to some like a fictional medieval sorcerer.

NGC 5189 Physicists say we are made of stardust. Intergalactic debris and far-flung atoms, shards of carbon nanomatter rounded up by gravity to circle the sun. As atoms pass through an eternal revolving door of possible form, energy and mass dance in fluid relationship. We are man, we are thought, we are story. We are all star stuff.

Oct 2010 Globular Star Cluster NGC 6934 Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Space Telescope Globular star clusters roam the halo of r Milky Way Galaxy. Gravitationally bound, these spherical groupings of typically several 100,000 stars r ancient, older than the stars of the galactic disk. In fact, measurements of globular cluster ages constrain the age of the Universe (it must be older than the stars in it!) & accurate cluster distance determinations provide a rung on the astronomical distance ladder.

Globular star cluster Omega Centauri is some 15,000 light-years away & 150 light-years in diameter. The cluster is packed with about 10 million stars much older than the Sun. Omega Cen is the largest of 200 or so known globular clusters that roam the halo of our Milky Way galaxy.

NGC 4449: Close-up of a Small Galaxy Credit: Data - Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Robert Gendler

The sky toward the center of our Galaxy is filled with a wide variety of celestial wonders, many of which are visible from a dark location with common binoculars. Constellations near the Galactic Center include Sagittarius, Libra, Scorpius, Scutum, and Ophiuchus. Nebulas include Messier objects M8, M16, M20, as well as the Pipe and Cat's Paw nebulas. Visible open star clusters include M6, M7, M21, M23, M24, and M25, while globular star cluster M22 is also visible.