This week’s Hubble Space Telescope image depicts a beautiful field of stars known as a globular cluster. The image was captured with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys instruments, and shows the stunning depths of the globular cluster NGC 6569, which is located in the constellation Sagittarius.
Globular clusters can be found in most galaxies, including our own Milky Way galaxy. The globular clusters in our galaxy, like those in similar spiral galaxies, are predominantly found towards the galaxy’s outskirts, in a region known as the galactic halo. These clusters are larger and older than those seen elsewhere.
Astronomers are fascinated by all types of star clusters because the member stars would have formed at around the same time and location, with comparable interior compositions. As a result, these stellar clusters provide valuable insights into how stars develop and evolve. However, because globular clusters are so densely packed, it is difficult to see individual stars within them.