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The Sword of Orion

3 November 2012

At http://phys.org/print270970024.html … astrophysicists have investigated a cluster of oddly behaving stars in the Sword of Orion – by using, in their words, 'sophisticated computer modelling programmes'. The Orion Nebular Cluster, as the anomaly is known, they have determined, may be held together by the pull of a black hole that their models indicate is up to 200 times the mass of the Sun. The stars in the cluster move rapidly aside as if they are trying to breach apart from each other but something is stopping them from achieving this result, it is alleged, and the gravity of a black hole might be one explanation, it is concluded. I like this bit, however, – the team said 'the finding had dramatic implications for our understanding of how massive stars form and how such rich star clusters hatch from their gaseous cocoons … '. Like laying eggs.

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