This blossoming galactic marvel is 25 million light-years away, while NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope managed to capture a sparkling blue star cluster just 336 light-years from Earth in the constellation Vela. It’s called NGC 2660 and classified as an open cluster, which means that it contains anywhere from between tens to a few hundred stars that are all loosely bound together by gravity.
These stars found in open clusters form out of the same region of gas and dust, thus results in sharing many similar characteristics, such as age as well as chemical composition. Unlike globular clusters, these are fare easier to study since astronomers can easily distinguish between individual stars. The bright red object you see to the left is basically a foreground star that is not part of the cluster.
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The spikes surrounding many of the stars in this image are ‘diffraction spikes,’ which occur when the glow from bright points of light reflects off of Hubble’s secondary mirror support,” said NASA.