Open Star Clusters
New in groups called open star clusters. These are strung out along the spiral arms like beads in a necklace. Open clusters are much smaller than , containing only a few tens or hundreds of stars.
Open star clusters are important because probably form during the creation of some of these stars. Unfortunately it is hard to watch open star clusters form because spiral arms are surrounded by clouds of gas and dust.
Open star cluster image in nearby galaxy from NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) - ESA/Hubble Collaboration
Once the stars begin to shine they blow away the left-over and dust. You can see several open star clusters (for example the ) without binoculars.
After a while, the stars formed in an open star cluster drift apart, probably pulled by the attraction of passing stars. Letís focus down on one star and see how it works.
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