New Globular Cluster Discovered

by Fraser Cain on March 13, 2007

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Cluster FSR1735. Image credit: ESOGlobular star clusters are gigantic collections of stars formed at the same time, and held together by their mutual gravity. Amazingly, they’re some of the oldest objects in the Universe – some are more than 10 billion years old. More than 150 globular clusters have been discovered in the Milky Way by astronomers. And now you can add one more to that list.

The new cluster is located about 30,000 light years away, in the inner dust-shrouded parts of the Milky Way. Since it’s only about 10,000 light years from the centre of the Milky Way, it would normally be hidden to observatories that see in the visible spectrum. The European Southern Observatory’s New Technology Telescope can see into the infrared spectrum, revealing objects behind the obscuring dust.

Living inside the cluster would be an amazing experience. It’s only 7 light-years across. This is only double the distance from the Sun and its nearest star, Proxima Centauri. Instead of just a couple of stars in this volume, you would see more than 100,000 stars blazing in the night sky.

Original Source: ESO News Release

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Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

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