Wow! Hubble Telescope does it again, captures stunning globular star cluster

Hubble Telescope continues to impress despite the new kid in town, James Webb Space Telescope. Now, NASA's old Hubble Space Telescope has captured a stunning globular cluster of stars.

| Updated on: Jan 09 2023, 11:21 IST
Sickening! From light to darkness, DEATH of a star is the birth of a Black Hole!
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1/5 What is a Black Hole? According to NASA, a black hole is an astronomical object with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it. A black hole’s “surface,” called its event horizon, defines the boundary where the velocity needed to escape exceeds the speed of light, which is the speed limit of the cosmos. Matter and radiation fall in, but they can’t get out. (NASA)
Black hole
2/5 Classes of black holes: Two main classes of black holes have been extensively observed. Stellar-mass black holes with three to dozens of times the Sun’s mass are spread throughout our Milky Way galaxy, while supermassive monsters weighing 100,000 to billions of solar masses are found in the centers of most big galaxies, ours included. (AP)
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3/5 How are black holes birthed? A stellar-mass black hole formation happens when a star with more than 20 solar masses exhausts the nuclear fuel in its core and collapses under its own weight. The collapse triggers a supernova explosion that blows off the star’s outer layers. But if the crushed core contains more than about three times the Sun’s mass, no known force can stop its collapse and the birth of of a black hole. The origin of supermassive black holes is poorly understood, but we know they exist from the very earliest days of a galaxy’s lifetime. Once born, black holes can grow by accreting matter that falls into them, including gas stripped from neighboring stars and even other black holes. (NASA)
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4/5 First image of black hole: In 2019, astronomers using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — an international collaboration that networked eight ground-based radio telescopes into a single Earth-size dish — captured an image of a black hole for the first time. It appears as a dark circle silhouetted by an orbiting disk of hot, glowing matter. The supermassive black hole is located at the heart of a galaxy called M87, located about 55 million light-years away, and weighs more than 6 billion solar masses. Its event horizon extends so far it could encompass much of our solar system out to well beyond the planets. (Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration)
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5/5 Studying black holes: Astronomers have been studying black holes through the various forms of light they emit for decades. Although light can’t escape a black hole’s event horizon, the enormous tidal forces in its vicinity cause nearby matter to heat up to millions of degrees and emit radio waves and X-rays. Some of the material orbiting even closer to the event horizon may be hurled out, forming jets of particles moving near the speed of light that emit radio, X-rays and gamma rays. Jets from supermassive black holes can extend hundreds of thousands of light-years into space. NASA’s Hubble, Chandra, Swift, NuSTAR, and NICER space telescopes, as well as other missions, continue to take the measure of black holes and their environments. (NASA)
NGC 6355 star cluster
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NGC 6355 is a star cluster located in the constellation Ophiuchus that was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in stunning detail. (NASA/ESA/Hubble)

Although the brand-new James Webb Space Telescope has recently captured some incredible images of celestial events, the Hubble Space Telescope has once again proved that it even though it may be old, it is still capable of capturing breathtaking images. Hubble Telescope has just captured a mesmerizing image of a scattered cluster of colourful stars. The image was released by NASA on their website, which co-manages the Hubble Space Telescope along with the European Space Agency (ESA).

The Hubble Telescope has yet another feather in its cap by capturing a galactic globular cluster that resides in our Milky Way galaxy's inner regions. This star cluster is called NGC 6355 and it is located around 50,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Ophiuchus. The image was captured with the help of Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3. The Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) was primarily designed to survey large areas of the sky at visible and red wavelengths with 10 times greater efficiency than the earlier premier Hubble camera. It has certainly proved fruitful as most of Hubble's images have been captured by the ACS.

What is a Globular star cluster?

According to NASA, Globular clusters are stable, tightly bound groups of tens of thousands to millions of stars that are associated with all types of galaxies. Their dense populations of stars and mutual gravitational attraction give these clusters a roughly spherical shape that holds a bright, central concentration of stars surrounded by an increasingly sparse sprinkling of stars.

Did you know?

Stars are the most widely recognized astronomical objects, and represent the most fundamental building blocks of galaxies. They are celestial objects millions of years old floating in space. The older and bigger the star, the brighter it appears. They are formed in star-forming regions called Nebulae. The makeup of a Nebula consists of gases, mainly hydrogen and helium. After formation, many stars form groups from the same Nebula, which is known as a Star Cluster.

According to NASA, Star clusters can contain as few as ten stars or as many as millions of stars.

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First Published Date: 09 Jan, 11:08 IST