Hubble captures a starry scene

Hubble captures a starry scene

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Cohen

A slew of twinkling stars in the globular cluster Terzan 4 fill this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Globular clusters are groups of stars that are bound together by their mutual gravity and can contain millions of individual stars. As this image shows, the core of a globular cluster like Terzan 4 is a dense, crowded field of stars – which makes for stunning images!

The launch of Hubble in 1990 revolutionized the study of globular clusters. It is almost impossible to distinguish individual stars in such dense crowds ground-based telescopes. However, space telescopes can separate the two. Astronomers have taken advantage of Hubble’s clear vision to study the stars that make up globular clusters, and discover how these systems change over time.

This particular image came from Hubble observations designed to better understand the shape, density, age and structure of globular clusters near the center of the Milky Way. Unlike globular clusters found elsewhere in the sky, those close to the galactic center have escaped detailed observation by clouds of gas and dust swirling around our galaxy’s core. these Zipper Blocking out starlight and complicating astronomical observations in a process astronomers refer to as “extinction.”

Astronomers have taken advantage of the sensitivity of two of Hubble’s instruments – the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3 – to overcome the impact of the extinction on Terzan 4. By combining Hubble images and complex data processing, Astronomy scientists She was able to determine the ages of the galaxy Ball groups In a billion years – a relatively accurate measurement in astronomical terms!

Hubble observes a bright cluster of stars

Introduction of
European Space Agency

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