The Hubble Space Telescope captured this glittering scene using its Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys.

Globular clusters are stable, tightly bound groups of tens of thousands to millions of stars. As this image demonstrates, the hearts of globular clusters are densely packed with stars. Terzan 9 is dotted with so many glittering stars that it resembles a sea of sequins.

This starry snapshot is from a Hubble program investigating globular clusters located toward the heart of the Milky Way, in which its central region holds a tightly packed group of stars known as the galactic bulge, an area rich in interstellar dust. This dust makes globular clusters near the galaxy’s center difficult to study, as it absorbs starlight and can even change the apparent colors of stars in these clusters. Hubble’s sensitivity at both visible and infrared wavelengths allows astronomers to measure how star colors change due to interstellar dust. Knowing a star’s true color and brightness allows astronomers to estimate its age, and thereby estimate the globular cluster’s age.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Cohen


球状星团是由数万到数百万颗恒星组成的稳定、紧密结合的星团。正如这张图片所示,球状星团的中心密布着恒星。Terzan 9星光熠熠,犹如一片亮片之海。


影像来源:ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Cohen

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