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Ancient Globular Cluster Spotted With Hubble

First Posted: Jan 07, 2016 11:32 AM EST

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured the image of an ancient globular cluster located 22,000 light-years away. This global cluster was identified as NGC 6535, which is in the constellation of Serpens (The Serpent) that measures one light-year across.

NGC 6535 was initially discovered in 1852 by John Russell Hind, an English astronomer. At the time this cluster may have appeared to as a tiny, faint smudge through Hind's telescope. A 160 years layer the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope enables astronomers to peer at this cluster along with its remarkable features in extensive details.

Global clusters are tight bound groups of stars that orbit galaxies. The huge mass within the center of the rich stellar center of the globular cluster pulls the stars inward to create a ball of stars. "Globulus" is a word is a Latin term that means small sphere. This is where the clusters get their name from.

Global clusters are ancient objects which were formed around the same time as their host galaxy. No new star formation has been observed within a globular cluster, which highlights the numerous aging yellow stars in the image of NGC 6535 and many of these stars contained a few heavy elements.

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