Hubble Spies a Scintillating Globular Cluster

Esahubble_potw2233a_1024

esahubble_potw2233a August 15th, 2022

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Cohen

This scintillating image showcases the globular cluster NGC 6540 in the constellation Sagittarius, which was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys. These two instruments have slightly different fields of view — which determines how large an area of sky each instrument captures. This composite image shows the star-studded area of sky that was captured in both instruments’ field of view.  NGC 6540 is a globular cluster, a stable, tightly bound multitude of stars. The populations of these clusters can range from tens of thousands to millions of stars, all of which are trapped in a closely-packed group by their mutual gravitational attraction. The brightest stars in this image are adorned with prominent cross-shaped patterns of light known as diffraction spikes. These astronomical embellishments are a type of imaging artefact, meaning that they are caused by the structure of Hubble rather than the stars themselves. The path taken by the starlight as it enters the telescope is slightly disturbed by its internal structure, causing bright objects to be surrounded by spikes of light. Hubble peered into the heart of NGC 6540 to help astronomers measure the ages, shapes, and structures of globular clusters towards the centre of the Milky Way. The gas and dust shrouding the centre of our galaxy block some of the light from these clusters, as well as subtly changing the colours of their stars. Globular clusters contain insights into the earliest history of the Milky Way, and so studying them can help astronomers understand how our galaxy has evolved. Links Video of Hubble Spies a Scintillating Globular Cluster

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://esahubble.org/images/potw2233a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Baltimore, MD, United States

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
NGC 6540
Subject - Milky Way
Star > Grouping > Cluster > Open
Esahubble_potw2233a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 18h 6m 9.3s
DEC = -27° 45’ 52.8”
Orientation
North is 131.2° CW
Field of View
2.4 x 2.2 arcminutes
Constellation
Sagittarius

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (ACS) Optical (V) 606.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFC3) Infrared (YJ) 1.1 µm
Red Hubble (WFC3) Infrared (H) 1.6 µm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Red
Esahubble_potw2233a_1280
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ID
potw2233a
Subject Category
B.3.6.4.1  
Subject Name
NGC 6540
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Cohen
Release Date
2022-08-15T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://esahubble.org/images/potw2233a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
ACS, WFC3, WFC3
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Optical, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
V, YJ, H
Central Wavelength
606, 1100, 1600
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
271.5385844756399, -27.764674293102402
Reference Dimension
2896.0, 2589.0
Reference Pixel
1448.0, 1294.5
Scale
-1.3891371294633112e-05, 1.3891371294633112e-05
Rotation
-131.22000000000054
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
https://esahubble.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
ESA Office, Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
United States
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
potw2233a
Metadata Date
2022-08-08T01:46:35+02:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.