In 1714, Edmund Halley marvelled at the now-famous globular cluster in Hercules – M13 – writing that “this is but a little Patch, but it shews it self to the naked Eye when the Sky is serene and the Moon absent.” Today, M13, located 25,000 light years away in the constellation Hercules, is considered one of the finest sights in the northern sky, a compact swarm of tightly packed stars visible in binoculars, small telescopes and, as Halley observed, to the unaided eye under a clear, dark sky. This view from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the cluster in all its glory, captured in images taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys using red, blue and green filters.
Strange globular cluster recalls Milky Way’s infancy
When our galaxy was born, around 13,000 million years ago, a plethora of clusters containing millions of stars emerged. But over time, they have been disappearing. However, hidden behind younger stars that formed later, some old and dying star clusters remain, such as the so-called E 3. European astronomers have now studied this testimony to the beginnings of our galaxy.
A galactic train wreck triggers spasms of star birth
Hubble reveals a galaxy fit to burst
This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the vibrant core of the galaxy NGC 3125, approximately 50 million light-years away. Discovered by John Herschel in 1835, NGC 3125 is a great example of a starburst galaxy — a galaxy in which unusually high numbers of new stars are forming, springing to life within intensely hot clouds of gas.