• Stars form inside masses of gas called molecular clouds. Most stars in the Milky Way take shape within the spiral arms that make up the galaxy’s main disk. But the new star clusters lie about 16,000 light-years from the disk.
  • Camargo and his team discovered the star clusters, designated Camargo 438 and 439, inside a molecular cloud called HRK 81.4-77.8. The astronomers also found more than 400 other star clusters near or inside of the Milky Way’s arms.
  • The team is still investigating how the star-forming cloud housing Camargo 438 and 439 strayed so far. Supernovas could have hurled the gas and dust that formed the cloud out of the Milky Way, or the material could have drifted in from outside the galaxy.

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