Forgotten Star Cluster Now Found Useful in Studies of Sun and Hunt for Earth-Like Planets (1 of 2) (image) Penn State Share Print E-Mail Caption Penn State University astronomers have determined that 80 of the stars in this photo are members of the long-known but underappreciated star cluster Ruprecht 147. In this image, the brightest of these stars are circled in green, and the less-bright ones are circled in red. These stars were born out of the same cloud of gas and dust approximately two-billion years ago, and now are traveling together through space, bound by the force gravity. The astronomers have identified this cluster as a potentially important new reference gauge for fundamental stellar astrophysics. http://science.psu.edu/news-and-events/2012-news/Wright6-2012 Credit Image by Chris Beckett and Stefano Meneguolo, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Annotations by Jason Curtis, Penn State University. Usage Restrictions The image and annotation credits must be published along with the image. Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.