Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
January 16, 1996
Wild Duck Open Cluster M11
Credit: Anglo-Australian Telescope photograph by David Malin
Copyright: Anglo-Australian Telescope Board
Explanation: Many stars like our Sun were formed in open clusters. The above open cluster, M11, contains thousands of stars and is just over three thousand light years distant. The stars in this cluster all formed together about 150 million years ago. The many bright stars in the cluster appear blue. Open clusters, also called galactic clusters, contain fewer and younger stars than globular clusters. Also unlike globular clusters, open clusters are generally confined to the plane of our Galaxy.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Sherri Calvo. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC