Hubble photographed a star cluster in a nearby galaxy

The Hubble Mission Support Team has released a new image. A space telescope image shows the scattered star cluster NGC 376.

The scattered cluster NGC 376. Source: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Nota, G. De Marchi

NGC 376 is located at a distance of 200 thousand light-years from Earth. The cluster is part of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy that is one of the closest neighbors of our Milky Way. 

Scattered clusters are groups of stars that formed from a single giant molecular cloud and are approximately the same age. They differ from globular clusters in that they have a much lower density, and their participants are much weaker bound by the forces of gravity. This leads to the fact that over time the stars leave the scattered clusters and go on a “free journey”. As a result, over time, such structures are completely destroyed and disappear.

The cluster captured in the Hubble image will suffer the same fate in the future. Now its mass exceeds the mass of the Sun by 3,400 times. Most likely, immediately after its formation, our native luminary was also a participant in one of these clusters.

Earlier we talked about how Hubble photographed a strange galaxy with a giant ring.

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