Astronomy Picture of the Day

The 37 Cluster

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#81838 by @ 19.11.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
The 37 Cluster


For the mostly harmless denizens of planet Earth, the
brighter stars of open cluster
NGC 2169
seem to form a cosmic 37.

(Did you
expect 42?.)

Of course, the improbable numerical
appears solely by chance and lies at an estimated distance of 3,600
light-years toward the
constellation Orion.

As far as galactic or open star clusters go,
NGC 2169
is a small one, spanning about 7 light-years.

Formed at the same time from the same cloud of dust and gas,
the stars of
NGC 2169 are only about 8 million years old.

Such clusters
expected to disperse over time as they
encounter other stars, interstellar clouds, and
experience gravitational tides while traveling through
the galaxy.

Over four billion years ago, our own Sun was likely formed
in a similar open
cluster of stars

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