A mysterious arc of light found behind a distant cluster of galaxies has turned out to be the biggest, brightest and hottest star-forming region ever seen in space. The so-called Lynx Arc is one million times brighter than the well-known Orion Nebula, a nearby prototypical 'starbirth' region visible with small telescopes. The newly identified super-cluster contains a million blue-white stars that are twice as hot as similar stars in our Milky Way galaxy.
On Aix's Cours Mirabeau, canopied by plane trees, sprinkled with fountains, hemmed with cafés, I lose my sceptic's heart forever to the street labelled unblushingly "Europe's most captivating". And in the art de vivre city this is only the hors d'oeuvre.