Star clusters are groups of stars which are gravitationally bound.
Two distinct types of star cluster can be distinguished: globular clusters are tight groups of hundreds of thousands of very old stars, while open clusters generally contain less than a few hundred members, and are often very young.
Star clusters or star clouds are groups of stars. Two types of star clusters can be distinguished: globular clusters are tight groups of hundreds or thousands of very old stars which are gravitationally bound, while open clusters, more loosely clustered groups of stars, generally contain fewer than a few hundred members, and are often very young. Open clusters become disrupted over time by the gravitational influence of giant molecular clouds as they move through the galaxy, but cluster members will continue to move in broadly the same direction through space even though they are no longer gravitationally bound; they are then known as a stellar association, sometimes also referred to as a moving group.
When stars are born they develop from large clouds of molecular gas. This means that they form in groups or clusters, since molecular clouds are composed of hundreds of solar masses of material. After the remnant gas is heated and blow away, the stars collect together by gravity. During the exchange of energy between the stars, some stars reach escape velocity from the protocluster and become runaway stars. The rest become gravitationally bound, meaning they will exist as collection orbiting each other forever.
When a cluster is young, the brightest members are O, B and A stars. Young clusters in our Galaxy are called open clusters due to their loose appearance. They usually contain between 100 and 1,000 members. One example is the Jewel Box cluster below:
Early in the formation of our Galaxy, very large, globular clusters formed from giant molecular clouds. Each contain over 10,000 members, appear very compact and have the oldest stars in the Universe. One example is M13 (the 13th object in the Messier catalog) shown below: