Hubble peered through dust and gas to capture this dazzling globular cluster

This week’s picture from the beloved Hubble Area Telescope exhibits a stunning array of stars, squeezed into a gaggle often known as a globular cluster. This can be a dense assortment of stars held collectively by gravity, forming a roughly spherical form and composed of lots of of hundreds and even hundreds of thousands of stars.

This explicit cluster is called ESO 520-21 and is also called Palomar 6 after the Palomar Observatory in California the place it was found in a sky survey within the 1980s.

This sparkling starfield, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys, contains the globular cluster ESO 520-21 (also known as Palomar 6).
This glowing starfield, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Area Telescope’s Vast Subject Digital camera three and Superior Digital camera for Surveys, incorporates the globular cluster ESO 520-21 (also called Palomar 6). ESA/Hubble and NASA, R. Cohen

Capturing this picture wasn’t simple as a result of the cluster is positioned close to the middle of our galaxy. There may be a variety of matter floating round within the central area of the galaxy, making it onerous to seize a transparent picture.

“A densely packed, roughly spherical collection of stars, it lies close to the center of the Milky Way, where interstellar gas and dust absorb starlight and make observations more challenging,” Hubble scientists write.

“Interstellar absorption affects some wavelengths of light more than others, changing the colors of astronomical objects by causing them to appear redder than they actually are. Astronomers call this process ‘reddening,’ and it makes determining the properties of globular clusters close to the galactic center — such as ESO 520-21 — particularly difficult.”

This issue means there are lots of questions on this cluster which might be onerous to reply. Researchers weren’t certain of the cluster’s age, or precisely how far-off from us it’s. In addition they weren’t certain what heavier components exist there in what portions.

However just lately, astronomers from the College of São Paulo in Brazil have studied this cluster utilizing each Hubble and the Very Massive Telescope and located that it’s 12.four billion years previous and is positioned 25,000 light-years away.

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