Shredded Star Cluster

Most stars are born together in families of hundreds to thousands, known as star clusters. Over time, the pull of gravity from the galaxy can overcome the gravitational bond holding the family of stars together, shredding the star cluster apart. In this image, the lines show the paths of individual stars in a computer model of a star cluster, extending over millions of years. Some still live together in a tight group toward the cluster’s center, while others have begun to wander away & populate the rest of the Galaxy. It is believed that our Sun was born in a star cluster similar to this, which dissolved long ago.

Credit: A. M. Geller and M. SubbaRao. CIERA/Northwestern