Like a celestial Rorschach test, I can see so many things when I stare at this wonderful photo captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s like static on a TV. Or like a crowded future city lit by buildings stacked on buildings. But what it really is is even cooler: it’s the first time pictures have been taken of…
If space traveling the universe had a scenic route, this would be it. It’s a 3D fly-through of the nebula Gum 29 with the stunning star cluster Westerlund 2 in the middle and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The image was taken by the Hubble and shown off for its 25th anniversary. It’s the stuff of dreams.
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.
These brilliantly bright blue stars are part of the cluster NGC 2547. Located 1,500 light-years away from Earth, these are some of the newest stars in the galaxy, clocking in at just 20 to 35 million years old.
This image from the European Southern Observatory's Wide Field Imager in Chile reveals one of the galaxy's brightest regions, with one weird, inky exception. Why is Barnard 86 a dark cloud in the middle of such a starry vista?
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.
Some star clusters have no business surviving. For instance, there's a tiny cluster right next to our galaxy's supermassive black hole, which should be ripped apart by its intense gravity. But there's more to this cluster than meets the eye.
Comet Garrard is blasting through the northern sky. Of course, it's easy to lose track of one little comet when it's passing through a giant star cluster. But no matter: you just have to look for the brightest, greenest one.
Many stars form in giant groups known as open clusters, which are crucial for the galaxy's development. There should be about 30,000 clusters in the Milky Way, but we've only ever found 2,500. Now, you can raise that number to 2,596.
We recently discovered that gigantic gamma ray bubbles were balanced above and below the center of the Milky Way, stretching out 25,000 light-years in each direction. And now we might finally know where these mysterious bubbles come from.
New images of the Arches Cluster, one of the most chaotic and densely packed parts of the galaxy, have revealed that the distribution of stars there look surprisingly similar to that of our own relatively quiet part of the Milky Way.