(ORDO NEWS) — The open cluster KMHK 1231 is a group of stars that are weakly bound by gravity. It can be seen in the upper right corner of this photograph taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
This cluster is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud. KMHK 1231 is surrounded by a crimson nebula of gas and dust that could someday form new stars.
The orange and red colors in this image indicate visible and near-infrared light, respectively.
Open clusters are found in spiral and irregular galaxies where star formation is common.
The stars in such clusters tend to form from the same cloud of gas and dust, so they share characteristics such as age and chemical composition.
Open clusters are laboratories for studying how stars form and evolve.
Hubble observed KMHK 1231 as part of a program to study how ultraviolet light is absorbed by material that exists in the space between Earth and the Large Magellanic Cloud.
This information helps astronomers figure out how much light objects in the Milky Way’s satellite galaxy actually emit and determine the characteristics of those objects.
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