The globular cluster NGC 6652 is found in the constellation Sagittarius, about 30,000 light years from Earth and just 6,500 light years from the center of the Milky Way. This star-studded image was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3 for two studies, one focused on determining the ages of such globulars and their contribution to the gravitational potential of the galaxy and one to pin down the proportions of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen in clusters like NGC 6652. The bright blue stars of the globular are seen behind brighter foreground stars marked by diffraction spikes.
On July 14th, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will flyby Pluto, offering the first close-up look at that small, distant world. You can help decide what names will be used on subsequent maps of the dwarf planet and its largest moon, Charon, as the SETI Institute announces the launch of its “Our Pluto” campaign.
Regarded as one of the most majestic of all of the galaxies in the Universe is the Sombrero, 28 million light years away in the constellation Virgo. This spiral galaxy’s notable features are its thick, torus-like disc with a dark, duty rim and the intense, bulbous, white glow that emanates from its core.
This Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the Cosmic Snake, a distant galaxy peppered with clumpy regions of intense star formation that appear warped by the effect of gravitational lensing. This giant arc-like galaxy is actually behind the huge galaxy cluster MACSJ1206.2-0847, but thanks to the cluster’s gravity, we can see it from Earth.