JERRY LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JERRY LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Wild Duck Cluster (centre right). This open star cluster (also called M11 and NGC 6705) is found in the constellation of Scutum. It is among the most compact of the open star clusters, often being mistaken for a globular star cluster. Over 500 of its stars are visible, but there are thought to be some 2900 stars in a volume 21 light years across. It is about 250 million years old. M11 is around 6000 light years distant. Open (or galactic) clusters are groups of stars thought to form from the same nebula (cloud of gas and dust). The stars should eventually drift apart.
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