Hubble images show stars in globular cluster gleaming with ‘nebulosity’
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope snapped a pair of “dazzlingly different” images of a brilliant star cluster about 160,000 light-years away.
The globular cluster NGC 1850, in the constellation Dorado, is approximately 63,000 times the mass of the sun, is 100 million years old and is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, NASA said in a press release.
Home to billions of stars, the Large Magellanic Cloud is a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.
The agency said the telescope used filters with specific colors assigned to study particular wavelengths of light emanating from NGC 1850 and its surrounding stars.
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These Hubble images show the star cluster NGC 1850 at multiple wavelengths.
One blue nebula image includes near-infrared light as well as visible light, while the other red nebula covers the near-ultraviolet to early infrared spectrum.
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NGC 1850 is a spherical collection of densely packed stars held together by mutual gravitational attraction, the release said.
However, unlike most globular clusters, its stars are relatively young.
This Hubble image shows the star cluster NGC 1850, located about 160,000 light-years away. For this image, two filters were used with the camera to collect data, one at visible wavelengths, the other at near-infrared wavelengths.
According to scientists, the theory is that the first generation of stars in the globular cluster threw matter into the surrounding cosmos when they were born.
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However, the cluster’s density was so high that matter could not escape its gravitational pull, causing it to stay close, and the cluster’s gravity also pulled hydrogen and helium gas from its surroundings.
For this Hubble image, five filters were used with the camera to collect data. Two of the filters were at near-ultraviolet wavelengths, two more at visible-light wavelengths, and the last was at near-infrared wavelengths.
The gas sources created a second generation of stars, increasing both the density and the size of the globular cluster.
The presence of a black hole was found in NGC 1850, and there are also about 200 red giants and many brighter blue stars.
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Surrounding the cluster is a pattern of diffuse nebulae, dust and gas theorized to come from supernova explosions.