7500 light-years

These clusters are among the brightest, densest, and closest of those containing moderately massive stars. Intervening dust from the Milky Way's disk slightly obscures our view, dimming the pair's overall brightness by about a factor of five. The two clusters (known as NGC 884 and NGC 869) are strikingly similar in many ways and are believed to have originated from a single ancestral gas cloud some 12.8 million years ago.

Credit: Robert Gendler.

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