• The star cluster is buried within a supernebula in a dwarf galaxy known as NGC 5253, in the constellation Centaurus. The cluster has one billion times the luminosity of our sun, but is invisible in ordinary light, hidden by its own hot gases.
  • The amount of dust surrounding the stars is extraordinary -- approximately 15,000 times the mass of our sun in elements such as carbon and oxygen.The cluster is about 3 million years old, which in astronomical terms, is remarkably young. It is likely to live for more than a billion years, she said.
  • "We're catching this cluster at a special time,” researchers said. "With a cluster this large, we would expect several thousand stars that would have become supernovae and exploded by now. We found no evidence of a supernova yet.” The cluster contains more than 7,000 massive "O" stars -- the most luminous of all known stars, each a million times brighter than our sun.

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