Arches star cluster, c 2000.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
This artist's impression shows how the Arches star cluster appears from deep inside the hub of our Milky Way Galaxy. Although hidden from our direct view, the massive cluster lies 25,000 light-years away and is the densest known gathering of young stars in our galaxy. The illustration is based on infrared observations with the Hubble Space Telescope and with ground-based telescopes, which pierced our galaxy's dusty core and obtained images of the luminous cluster of about 2,000 stars.