Discovered a camouflaged cluster between the Earth and the Orion nebula

Recent observations of the Orion Nebula carried out by Hervé Bouy (Center for Astrobiology, CSIC-INTA) and João Alves (University of Vienna) reveal that there is a second massive cluster of slightly older stars just ahead of this nebula.

Although astronomers knew from the 1960s that, in the foreground, there was a stellar population between the cluster and the Earth, observations have revealed that this population is more massive than previously thought, and is not distributed as such. uniformly as are the clusters around the star Iota Ori (visible to the naked eye) or the southern tip of the Sword of Orion.

The importance of this discovery is twofold: on the one hand, the new identified cluster is a brother slightly older than the Trapezium Cluster, which is at the heart of the Orion Nebula; and second, what astronomers have been calling the Orion Nebula Cluster is, in reality, a complicated mixture of these two clusters, to which are added other stars of the Milky Way alien to both clusters.





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