Fr.: amas des Arches
One of the three → Galactic center clusters supposed to be the densest young → massive star cluster in the Milky Way. It contains the richest collection of → O stars and → WN Wolf-Rayet stars in any cluster in the Galaxy, thus representing the largest collection of the most massive stars in the Galaxy. With its estimated age of 2-3 million years, the Arches cluster is the youngest of the massive clusters in the Galactic center. → Quintuplet cluster; → Central cluster (Figer et al. 2002, ApJ 581, 258; and 1999, ApJ 525, 750).
Arches, from the presence of Galactic center thermal → arched filaments, about 100 → light-years in projection from the Galactic center (Morris & Yusef-Zadeh, 1985, AJ 90, 2511), from M.E. arche, O.Fr. arche "arch of a bridge," from L. arcus, → arc; → cluster.