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Stars in the Beehive Cluster Are Colliding, Researchers Say

November 02, 2000

The Beehive Cluster in the constellation Cancer, a group of several hundred stars about 500 light-years from Earth, is actually two clusters of stars in the process of colliding, British researchers reported Tuesday. If they are correct, it will be the first case of merging star clusters ever observed.

A team from the University of Leicester and Queen's University in Belfast found that the cluster seems to have been breaking up over a period of about 10 million years, further evidence that Beehive is not a simple cluster.

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Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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