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Optical image of the Perseus double star cluster

Optical image of the Perseus double star cluster

R614/0164

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Credit

CELESTIAL IMAGE CO. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CELESTIAL IMAGE CO. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Perseus double cluster. True-colour optical image of the Perseus double star cluster. These open star clusters, Chi Persei (NGC 884, centre left) and h Persei (NGC 869, centre right), are believed to be about 15 million years old, young in stellar terms. They lie 7000 light years from Earth in the constellation Perseus. The two clusters are believed to have formed from one cloud of gas and dust, which broke into two halves before star formation took place. They are drifting away from each other in space, and are now around 50 light years apart. This image was produced by digitally combining photographs taken by the Palomar Schmidt Telescope in blue and red light.

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