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https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_476.html
Please notice especially the bright star at the center of the image, and how the most massive stars have etched out a cavity in the HI and molecular cloud. It is noticeable that the star near the center that has a number of stars seemingly radiating from it.

What kind of process could create such stellar radiating structures, if real?

Is the spacing related to the Jeans radius?

Thank you.

enter image description here

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When an embedded cluster forms and later blows away gas to become a young open cluster the stars inside interact gravitationally. They have essentially random velocities relative to each other, performing a chaotic dance. This typically makes the heavier (and hence brighter) stars end up near the core with low velocities and the lighter stars get into higher orbits. The phenomenon is called mass segregation and happens because all stars end up with roughly similar kinetic energy.

The effect is more extreme in globular clusters since they can persist for a long time, while open clusters tend to dissolve by interacting with the rest of the galaxy. In a way, as the cluster dissolves the lighter stars will be moving away ("radiating") from the core, although at this stage they are all mostly doing the kinetic energy exchange dance.

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  • $\begingroup$ If an ejection trajectory qualifies for “higher orbits”, then the description is accurate. $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Dec 22 '20 at 19:03

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