Hubble photographs the star house

The presented image was obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope. It shows thousands of stars that are part of the globular cluster NGC 6355.

Globular cluster NGC 6355 (Hubble photo). Source: ESA/Hubble & NASA, E. Noyola, R. Cohen

Globular clusters are among the oldest structures which age is comparable to the age of our Milky Way. They are closely gravitationally bound clusters of stars that orbit the galactic center as a moon and have a spherical shape.

NGC 6355 is located at a distance of less than 50 thousand light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus. Hubble’s photo demonstrates the main features of the cluster. We see its dense bright core surrounded by rarer placers of red stars.

Hubble has actually revolutionized the study of globular clusters. It is extremely difficult for ground-based telescopes to distinguish individual luminaries in such structures. Thanks to its technical capabilities and the absence of atmospheric distortion, Hubble was able to penetrate into the heart of globular clusters and study their stellar population. This made it possible to determine their age, which gave astronomers the opportunity to shed light on the history of the appearance and evolution of such formations.

You can also read about how Hubble photographed a star cluster in a neighboring galaxy.

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