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Contact: Barbara Kennedy
Penn State

Forgotten Star Cluster Now Found Useful in Studies of Sun and Hunt for Earth-Like Planets (1 of 2)

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.

Related news release: Forgotten star cluster now found useful in studies of Sun and hunt for Earth-like planets

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