Hubble captured a globular cluster in the bulge of the Milky Way

The presented image was published on the Hubble mission website. It shows many stars that are part of the NGC 6638 star cluster.

Globular cluster NGC 6638 (photo Hubble). Source: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Cohen

The NGC 6638 cluster is located at a distance of 31 thousand light-years from Earth in the bulge of the Milky Way. This term refers to spheroidal compaction of stars in the centers of galaxies. 

NGC 6638 is a globular cluster. It is a group of stars closely bound by gravity and orbiting the center of the Milky Way as a moon. Such structures are considered to be one of the oldest objects in the universe and mainly consist of old stars.

The Hubble telescope has revolutionized the study of globular clusters. The fact is that due to the blurring caused by the Earth’s atmosphere, it is almost impossible to distinguish their individual stars when using ground-based telescopes. Hubble, which is in space, is not affected by this problem. Therefore, astronomers actively use it to study the composition of globular clusters, which allows us to find answers to questions about their evolution and the role that gravity plays in maintaining their structure. 

In addition, Hubble is able to conduct observations in the near infrared range. This gives it the opportunity to study globular clusters located near the core of the Milky Way, which is hidden by dust clouds. NGC 6638 is just one of these clusters.

Earlier we talked about how Hubble photographed a gravitational lens.

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