Globular clusters are incredibly dense structures often featuring hundreds of thousands of stars packed into a relatively small space. So what would it be like to live inside such a thing? A team of astronomers recently created a simulation to find out.
Need a new desktop background? Look no further than this dazzling photo of Messier 15, an ancient globular cluster located about 35,000 light-years away.
Hubble telescope has just produced this brain-expanding image of Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689, a dense thicket of galaxies and globular clusters 2.25 billion light years away. It's also a region of the universe that's rich in dark matter.
This is Palomar 2, one of 15 globular star clusters originally discovered by Hubble—not the space telescope, but its legendary namesake, as Edwin Hubble was part of the project that first discovered these clusters back in the 1950s.
This is globular cluster M53, one of the galaxy's densest star clusters. It packs thousands of stars into a space about 220 light-years across. It's hard even to imagine the eternally sparkling light show of a night sky you'd see inside M53.
Damn. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what stargazers call a globular cluster — a spherical grouping of gravitationally bound celestial bodies, swirling about deep in the inky blackness of space. [Hi-res available here]
In theory, a supernova thousands of light-years away could release gamma-rays that would fry most life on Earth. But the star must be positioned exactly right for this to ever happen, and there's no way to prove it. Until now.
That bright explosion of stars on the right is a globular star cluster, one of just 160 such clusters in the galaxy. It's making its big debut after long being hidden behind the dust of the center of the galaxy.
The early cosmos might have been full of giant stars spinning 250 times faster than our own sun rotates. These strange spinstars died out after just 30 million years, but they might well have changed the universe forever.
We're used to images from space revealing the universe's distant past, but now the Hubble Space Telescope, with the help of a powerful computer simulation, has revealed the movements of a swarm of stars for the next 10,000 years.