The Milky Way's Restless Swarms of Stars

Science  03 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5603, pp. 60-62
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5603.60

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Recent work has turned up some surprises about globular clusters, compact swarms of stars that follow highly eccentric, elliptical orbits. For example, new evidence indicates that hitherto unexpected star formation in old clusters may be confusing age estimates, and that a black hole or a concentration of neutron stars lurks in the core of some clusters. In addition, interactions between binary stars can turn placid-seeming clusters into stellar combat zones.