Sunday, May 26, 2024

Globular Cluster NGC 6397 in Ara | Euclid Space Telescope

Globular Cluster NGC 6397 in Ara | Euclid Space Telescope

The European Space Agency's new Euclid space telescope captured this sparkly image of a globular cluster called NGC 6397. Globular clusters are collections of hundreds of thousands of stars held together by gravity.

Located about 7,800 light-years from Earth, NGC 6397 is the second-closest globular cluster to us. Together with other globular clusters it orbits in the disc of the Milky Way, where the majority of stars are located.

Globular clusters are among the oldest objects in the Universe. This is why they contain many clues about the history and evolution of their host galaxies, like this one for the Milky Way.

The challenge is that it is typically difficult to observe an entire globular cluster in just one sitting. Their centers contain large volumes of stars, so many that the brightest ‘drown out’ the fainter ones. Their outer regions extend a long way out and contain mostly low-mass, faint stars. It is the faint stars that can tell us about previous interactions with the Milky Way.

Image Description: This square astronomical image is speckled with hundreds of thousands of stars visible across the black expanse of space. The stars vary in size and color, from blue to white to yellow/red. Blue stars are younger and red stars are older. More stars are located at the center of the image, where they are bound together by gravity into a spheroid conglomeration—also called a globular cluster. Several stars are a bit larger than the rest, with six diffraction spikes.

Image Credit: ESA/Euclid/Euclid Consortium/NASA 

Image Processing: J.-C. Cuillandre (CEA Paris-Saclay), G. Anselmi

Release Date: Nov. 7, 2024

#NASA #ESA #ESAEuclid #Astronomy #Space #Science #Stars #StarClusters #GlobularStarClusters #NGC6397 #Ara #Constellation #Cosmos #Universe #EST #EuclidSpaceTelescope #Infrared #SpaceTelescope #Europe #STEM #Education

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