Cluster in the cloud

Esahubble_potw2349a_1024

esahubble_potw2349a December 4th, 2023

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Sarajedini, F. Niederhofer

This striking image shows the densely packed globular cluster known as NGC 2210, which is situated in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The LMC lies about 157 000 light-years from Earth, and is a so-called satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, meaning that the two galaxies are gravitationally bound. Globular clusters are very stable, tightly bound clusters of thousands or even millions of stars. Their stability means that they can last a long time, and therefore globular clusters are often studied in order to investigate potentially very old stellar populations.  In fact, 2017 research that made use of some of the data that were also used to build this image revealed that a sample of LMC globular clusters were incredibly close in age to some of the oldest stellar clusters found in the Milky Way’s halo. They found that NGC 2210 specifically probably clocks in at around 11.6 billion years of age. Even though this is only a couple of billion years younger than the Universe itself, it made NGC 2210 by far the youngest globular cluster in their sample. All other LMC globular clusters studied in the same work were found to be even older, with four of them over 13 billion years old. This is interesting, because it tells astronomers that the oldest globular clusters in the LMC formed contemporaneously with the oldest clusters in the Milky Way, even though the two galaxies formed independently.  As well as being a source of interesting research, this old-but-relatively-young cluster is also extremely beautiful, with its highly concentrated population of stars. The night sky would look very different from the perspective of an inhabitant of a planet orbiting one of the stars in a globular cluster’s centre: the sky would appear to be stuffed full of stars, in a stellar environment that is thousands of times more crowded than our own. Links Science paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Pan video: Cluster in the cloud [Image Description: A dense cluster of stars. It is brightest and most crowded in the centre, where the stars are mostly a cool white colour. Moving out towards the edges the stars become more spread out and reddish until a noticeable ‘edge’ to the cluster is reached. Beyond that edge there are still many stars, more disorganised and seen on a black background. Some stars appear to be in front of the cluster.]

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://esahubble.org/images/potw2349a/

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 2210
Esahubble_potw2349a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 6h 11m 31.5s
DEC = -69° 7’ 19.3”
Orientation
North is 46.6° CW
Field of View
3.2 x 2.2 arcminutes
Constellation
Dorado

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (WFC3) Optical (U) 336.0 nm
Green Hubble (ACS) Optical (V) 606.0 nm
Red Hubble (WFC3) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Red None (None) Optical (None) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Red
Red
Esahubble_potw2349a_1280
×
ID
potw2349a
Subject Category
Subject Name
NGC 2210
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Sarajedini, F. Niederhofer
Release Date
2023-12-04T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://esahubble.org/images/potw2349a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, None
Instrument
WFC3, ACS, WFC3, None
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
U, V, I, None
Central Wavelength
336, 606, 814, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
92.88132222649712, -69.1220350171515
Reference Dimension
4854.0, 3298.0
Reference Pixel
2427.0, 1649.0
Scale
-1.110994723442241e-05, 1.110994723442241e-05
Rotation
-46.620000000000047
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
potw2349a
Metadata Date
2023-11-29T00:29:53+01:00
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.

 

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