Monday, July 11, 2022

Portrait of Globular Cluster Terzan 2 | Hubble

Portrait of Globular Cluster Terzan 2 | Hubble

The globular cluster Terzan 2 in the constellation Scorpio features in this observation from the NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope. Globular clusters are stable, tightly gravitationally bound clusters of tens of thousands to millions of stars found in a wide variety of galaxies. The intense gravitational attraction between the closely packed stars gives globular clusters a regular, spherical shape. As a result, images of the hearts of globular clusters, such as this observation of Terzan 2, are crowded with a multitude of glittering stars.  

Hubble used both its Advanced Camera for Surveys and its Wide Field Camera 3 in this observation, taking advantage of the complementary capabilities of these instruments. Despite having only one primary mirror, Hubble’s design allows multiple instruments to be used to inspect astronomical objects. Light from distant astronomical objects enters Hubble and is collected by the telescope's 2.4-meter primary mirror; it is then reflected off the secondary mirror into the depths of the telescope, where smaller mirrors can direct light into individual instruments. 

Each of the four operational instruments on Hubble is a masterpiece of astronomical engineering in its own right, and contains an intricate array of mirrors and other optical elements to remove any aberrations or optical imperfections from observations, as well as filters which allow astronomers to observe specific wavelength ranges. The mirrors inside each instrument also correct for the slight imperfection of Hubble's primary mirror. The end result is a crystal-clear observation, such as this glittering portrait of Terzan 2.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Cohen

Release Date: July 11, 2022

#NASA #Space #Astronomy #Hubble #Stars #GlobularCluster #Terzan2 #Scorpius #Constellation #WFC3 #Science #Astrophysics #Physics #Cosmos #Universe #Telescope #GSFC #STScI #UnitedStates #ESA #Europe #STEM #Education

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