Hubble monitors “different” snapshots of an “unusual” 100-million-year-old star cluster

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Cairo – Samia Sayed – NASA has released new images of a 100-million-year-old globular star cluster, about 160,000 light-years away, in the constellation Abu Saif, according to RT.

And while the new images from the Hubble Space Telescope may look startlingly different, they are actually images of the same cosmic body called NGC 1850.

Although both images were taken by the same Hubble instrument, different filters with different custom colors were used to study specific wavelengths of light emitted by these objects.

The blue blur image includes some near-infrared light along with visible light (what our human eyes can detect), while the red blur image covers a much wider range from the near ultraviolet to the early infrared spectrum.

Ultraviolet observations are ideal for detecting light from hotter and less luminous stars, as seen in this bright starry landscape.

This globular cluster, which is 100 million years old, is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way and home to billions of stars.

The cluster is about 160,000 light-years away in the constellation of the Swordfish. Like other globular clusters of galaxies, NGC 1850 is a densely packed globular cluster of stars bound together by mutual gravity.

Unlike most globular clusters, the stars of NGC 1850 are relatively young, and globular clusters with young stars such as NGC 1850 do not exist in our Milky Way galaxy.

Astrophysicists believe that when the first generation of stars was born in NGC 1850, the stars spewed matter such as dust and gas into the surrounding universe.

The density of the newly formed star cluster was so high that this ejected material could not escape the cluster’s gravity, causing it to remain nearby.

The intense gravity of the cluster pulls hydrogen and helium gas from its surroundings.

These two gas sources met to form a second generation of stars, which increases the density and size of this globular cluster.

And in 2021, scientists discovered the presence of a black hole in NGC 1850. They also discovered many brighter blue stars, which burn hotter and die at a younger age than the age of red stars.

There are also about 200 red giants, which are stars that have run out of hydrogen in their centers and fuse hydrogen away from their cores, causing the outer layers to expand, cool and glow red.

A pattern of haze surrounds the cluster, diffuse dust and gas presumably from supernova explosions (blue veil-like structures in the first image and red ones in the second).

The mass of NGC 1850 is about 63,000 times the mass of the Sun, and its inner core is about 20 light-years in diameter.

Astronomers have used Hubble Space Telescope observations over a wide range of wavelengths to image this large stellar cluster and learn more about star formation.


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