An astronomical activist and its dedicated team of astronomers are at it again by providing a hypnotic new image of a globular cluster and the infinite depth of stars.
But while a new image from the Hubble Space Telescope is surprising, there is much more to the eye than meets the eye in this part of the sky. The cluster, called Ruprecht 106, is also home to a great mystery of Sherlockian proportions — and games are underway to unlock clues to the cluster’s enigmatic makeup, according to a statement. (opens in new tab) From the European Space Agency, a participant on the observatory.
Scientists agree that even though the main stars in a globular cluster were born at roughly the same time and place, within these cosmic nurseries there are stars that exhibit unique chemical compositions that can vary widely. Astronomers believe that this variation represents later stars formed from gas polluted by the processed material of the first generation of massive stars.
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However, rare globular clusters such as Ruprecht 106 are devoid of these varieties of stars and are instead listed as single-population clusters, where second or third generation stars never form. Astronomers hope that studying this captivating globular cluster in more detail can explain why it sports only one generation of stars.
Ruprecht 106, also known as C 1235-509, is located about 69,100 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus in our Milky Way galaxy, and was first discovered in 1961 by Czech astronomer Jaroslav Ruprecht .
This brightly colored image of Ruprecht 106 was created by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) using separate exposures taken in the visible and near-infrared regions of the spectrum. This optical instrument is the third generation instrument that replaced Hubble’s original Faint Object Camera in 2002.
The other instruments of many famous space telescopes have also gone through a series of upgrades in low Earth orbit over the years.
Its Wide Field Camera 3 replaced the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) during a spacewalk in 2009, and WFPC2 was replaced for the original Wide Field and Planetary Camera, which was won by the venerable Orbiting Observatory in 1990. was installed in the launch.
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