Although the James Webb Space Telescope is already revealing new insights into the deepest recesses of the visible universe, the Hubble Space Telescope is far from obsolete, as a new photo of the Terzan 1 cluster shows.
Photo released in October. Photo 10, a joint mission by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), shows the globular cluster 22,000 light-years from Earth and reveals its spectacular palette of colors. stars in remarkable clarity.
It is not Hubble Space Telescope‘s first photograph of the Terzan 1 cluster; Released by NASA Previous view in 2015. According to the ESA statementThe 2015 photo was taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, which operated until 2009. The instrument had a much lower resolution than the observatory’s new Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed by astronauts during the last Hubble servicing mission. .
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The new photo shows depth global cluster In more detail than the previous image, it reveals many red, aging stars bound together by mutual gravity. Globular clusters are usually dense, roughly spherical clusters of up to a hundred thousand stars. The stars are so tightly packed together that the average distance between any two separate stars is about one light-year, which is about a quarter of the distance between the sun and our nearest neighbor. Proxima Centauri.
Often these clusters host the oldest stars in our galaxy, which appear red in the Hubble image, while the bluer stars in the photo are younger foreground stars that are not in the cluster, although they definitely add some effort. star canvas.
“The ages of the stars in the globular cluster tell us that they formed early in the galaxy’s formation,” ESA officials said in a 2015 statement about the old photo. “Studying them can also help us understand how galaxies form.”
ESA noted that globular clusters such as Terzan 1 are a significant local source of X-rays. “These X-rays likely come from binary star systems that contain a dense neutron star and a normal star,” the officials wrote. A neutron star is the superdense remnant left behind by a sun-like star that explodes when it runs out of fuel. “A neutron star drags material from its companion star and causes X-ray emission.”
Scientists aren’t sure what a star’s mass or intermediate mass is black holes They are hidden inside globular clusters like Terzan 1. Because black holes can’t be “seen”—they absorb light instead of emitting it—the best way for a telescope to detect them is to observe their gravitational pull on the surrounding stars. Unfortunately, this is more difficult to do in a globular cluster due to the density of the stars.
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