Stellar Kinematics - Kinematic Groups - Stellar Associations - OB Associations

Young associations will contain 10–100 massive stars of spectral class O and B, and are known as OB associations. In addition, these associations also contain hundreds or thousands of low- and intermediate-mass stars. Association members are believed to form within the same small volume inside a giant molecular cloud. Once the surrounding dust and gas is blown away, the remaining stars become unbound and begin to drift apart. It is believed that the majority of all stars in the Milky Way were formed in OB associations. O class stars are short-lived, and will expire as supernovae after roughly a million years. As a result, OB associations are generally only a few million years in age or less. The O-B stars in the association will have burned all their fuel within 10 million years. (Compare this to the current age of the Sun at about 5 billion years.)

The Hipparcos satellite provided measurements that located a dozen OB associations within 650 parsecs of the Sun. The nearest OB association is the Scorpius-Centaurus Association, located about 400 light years from the Sun.

OB associations have also been found in the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Andromeda Galaxy. These associations can be quite sparse, spanning 1,500 light years in diameter.

Read more about this topic:  Stellar Kinematics, Kinematic Groups, Stellar Associations

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Kinematic Groups - Stellar Associations - OB Associations
... Young associations will contain 10–100 massive stars of spectral class O and B, and are known as OB associations ... In addition, these associations also contain hundreds or thousands of low- and intermediate-mass stars ... Association members are believed to form within the same small volume inside a giant molecular cloud ...

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