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NASA's Hubble Telescope photos clusters of dazzling stars

NASA’s Hubble Telescope photos clusters of dazzling stars

The latest image of the Hubble Space Telescope, though beautiful, is not entirely real. It shows the global cluster as a kind of frozen fireworks display.

NGC 6717 is a spherical cluster from the constellation Sagittarius. The Universal Cluster is the largest collection of stars in a roughly spherical shape. Some global clusters compile thousands of stars into such mini-galaxies. Star clusters are held together by such strong gravitational forces that the central part of a cluster is particularly tightly “packed”.

Spectacular, but not entirely real

If we look at the Sagittarius galaxy now, we see NGC 6717 as a point of light. NASA Hubble Sees a lot more. Outlook Of space telescope Looks like a photo of NGC 6717 Cosmic Fireworks. It is a shame that this is somewhat optical illusion. This is because not all bright spots that capture the image actually belong to the global cluster. Paradoxically, the bright spots in the center of the image come from stars that are not clustered, but in a direct line of sight between the cluster and Hubble.

Like crackers in space. (Source: ESA / Hubble and NASA, A. Sarajedi)

The NASA Suffice it to explain how to identify which stars are not NGC 6717. Long rays of light passing through some of the stars in the path, we can identify them by the characteristic of “diffraction tips”. According to NASA, such effects are caused by the refraction of light emitted by stars in Hubble secondary glass.

Especially considering the NGC 6717, there are some difficult factors that stand in the way of a perfect picture. For example, the constellation Sagittarius is located in the center of the Milky Way in the same region of the sky. And this center of our galaxy is full of all kinds of “light absorbing dust and gas”. We see this as a lie in telescope films.

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Direction of view of the Central Milky Way

Like most eye-catching films, this one comes back from a 2009 re-fit Wide field camera3. However, in order to improve the details, this was done with logs “Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys” Added. This module has been part of the telescope since 2002 and aims to explore large areas of the sky in the visible and red wavelength range.

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