M44: the Beehive Cluster

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Introduction: A sphere that is of gas and held together by its own gravitational force is known as its most common name, star. Stars are always continually trying to collapse by the force of gravity, this is contracted by the pressure of hot gas/ or radiation in the stars interior. This is called Hydrostatic support. Another thing about stars would be they sometimes come in groups known as clusters. (Dr. Barbara Mattson, 28-Dec-2010) A star cluster or star clouds are groups of stars. Star clusters can be distinguished as global clusters, which are roughly spherical groupings of from10, 000 to several million stars packed into regions of from 10 to 30 light years across. They commonly consist of very old Population II stars—just a few hundred million years younger than the universe itself—which are mostly yellow and red, with mass just less than two solar masses. Such stars predominate within clusters because hotter and more massive stars have exploded as supernovae, or evolved through planetary nebula phases to end as white dwarfs. Open clusters are very different from globular clusters. Unlike the spherically distributed globulars, they are confined to the galactic plane, and are almost always found within spiral arms. They are generally young objects, up to a few tens of millions of years old, with a few rare exceptions as old as a few billion years, such as Messier 67 (the closest and most observed old open cluster) for example. Only a few star clusters can be seen by the naked eye and they are, Peiates, Hyades and the Beehive Cluster (Source 1). Praesepe or also known as the Beehive Cluster is an open cluster. It is one of the nearest open clusters in our solar system; it also contains the largest population of large stars than most clusters nearby. Under the dark skies at night, the Beehive Cluster looks like a nebulous object to a human’s naked eye.
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