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Stream of stars extends thousands of light-years across the Milky Way 5nvklj





Stream of stars extends thousands of light-years across the Milky Way 9tpt39

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Stream of stars extends thousands of light-years across the Milky Way

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:51 am

The biggest smudge is the Milky Way itself, the billions of stars that make up our spiral galaxy, which we see edge-on.

The smaller smudges don't mean that you need glasses, but that you're seeing tightly packed groups of stars.

One of the best-known of these "clouds" or "clusters"—groups of stars that travel together—is the Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters.

Clusters are stellar nurseries where thousands of stars are born from clouds of gas and dust and then disperse across the Milky Way.


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Stream of stars extends thousands of light-years across the Milky Way 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:52 am

Stream of stars extends thousands of light-years across the Milky Way Milkyway
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Now, a team of astrophysicists led by Bouma can confirm that one of these streams of stars, NGC 2516, also known as the Southern Beehive, extends at least 1,600 light-years—500 parsecs—from tip to tip.

To an Earth-based stargazer, that would look as big as 40 full moons, side by side, stretching across the sky.


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Stream of stars extends thousands of light-years across the Milky Way 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:53 am



Stars orbiting the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way


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Stream of stars extends thousands of light-years across the Milky Way 334pu7m

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