Penetrating 25,000 light-years of obscuring dust and myriad stars, the Hubble Space Telescope has provided the clearest view yet of one of the largest young clusters of stars inside our Milky Way galaxy, located less than 100 light-years from the very center of the Galaxy. Having the equivalent mass greater than 10,000 stars like our sun, the monster cluster is ten times larger than typical young star clusters scattered throughout our Milky Way. It is destined to be ripped apart in just a few million years by gravitational tidal forces in the galaxy's core. But in its brief lifetime it shines more brightly than any other star cluster in the Galaxy. The 4-million-year-old Quintuplet Cluster also is home to the brightest star seen in the galaxy, the so-called Pistol star.
Image Credit: NASA