NOAO / AURA / NSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NOAO / AURA / NSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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M52 open star cluster (NGC 7654), optical image. Open star clusters are small groups of stars that mostly formed recently from the same cloud of gas and dust. Young bright, blue stars are seen behind two yellow foreground stars. An open star cluster is loosely bound by gravity, and so its stars will eventually drift apart. M52 has around 200 stars, is 20 light years across and lies about 7000 light years away in the constellation Cassiopeia. This is a composite of three images in red, green and blue, taken by the Burrell-Schmidt telescope, Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA.
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