At the Edge of the Lagoon Nebula (Photo)

The Hubble mission support team has released a new image of an object in the distant cosmos. In this image, we can see the spherical cluster NGC 6544.

Globular cluster NGC 6544. Source: ESA/Hubble & NASA, W. Lewin, F. R. Ferraro.

NGC 6544 is located 8,000 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. It is a group of stars that are tightly bound by gravity and orbit around the center of the Milky Way as a single satellite.

The image of NGC 6544 was composed from photographs taken by two Hubble instruments, the ACS and WFC3 cameras, during two separate observation sessions. The first session aimed to visually identify a pulsar located within the cluster.

The second observation session was conducted to search for visible counterparts of objects detected at other electromagnetic wavelengths, specifically weak X-ray sources instead of pulsars. These observations can help explain how clusters like NGC 6544 change over time.
Lagoon Nebula. Source: ESO/VPHAS+ team

On the Earth’s sky, NGC 6544 is neighbored by the Lagoon Nebula, a labyrinth of dust and gas created by powerful winds from recently born stars. The Lagoon Nebula is immense even on astronomical scales, measuring 55 by 20 light-years. However, it’s important to note that proximity in the sky does not necessarily mean proximity in reality. In fact, the Lagoon Nebula is much closer to Earth than the NGC 6544 cluster.

Previously, we discussed how the Hubble telescope searched for a black hole at the center of another globular cluster.