New, large and young stars discovered in clusters 33,000 light-years away

A group of astronomers from the University of Montpellier, France, made new observations of a group of young stars called VVV CL074 using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) spectrograph.

It is a massive cluster of stars formed mostly by stars and big youngsters whose astronomers have examined the main spectral properties, especially those of the brightest stars, and have identified new stars including some of the Wolf-Rayet type.

As many as 19 of the objects analyzed had never been identified before and 15 of these objects are most likely part of the massive cluster. The other four stars should then be classified as foreground stars, therefore not belonging to the cluster but interposed between us and it.

The distance of this cluster has been evaluated in about 33,000 light-years and the distance makes this cluster one of the most interesting ever studied, in addition to one of the youngest and largest among those identified to date in the Milky Way. These are young stars: most of them have an estimated age of 3 to 6 million years.

Astronomers were also able to estimate the mass of the two of the stars taken into consideration, classified as WN8 and WC9, evaluated at 40 and in 60 solar masses.

The discovery could be helpful in understanding the evolution of stars, a process not yet fully understood.