Messier 9

Messier 9

A detailed image of Messier 9, a globular star cluster. Image credit: NASA & ESA

“The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced the most detailed image so far of Messier 9, a globular star cluster located close to the center of the galaxy. This ball of stars is too faint to see with the naked eye, yet Hubble can see over 250,000 [10+05] individual stars shining in it.

Messier 9, pictured here, is a globular cluster, a roughly spherical swarm of stars that lies around 25,000 light-years [or 1.47 x 10+17 miles] from Earth, near the center of the Milky Way, so close that the gravitational forces from the galactic center pull it slightly out of shape.

Globular clusters are thought to harbor some of the oldest stars in our galaxy, born when the Universe was just a small fraction of its current age. As well as being far older than the sun—around twice its age [and therefore 9 billion or 10+09 years old]—the stars of Messier 9 also have a markedly different composition, and are enriched with far fewer heavier elements than the sun.”

Learn more about Messier 9 at NASA.gov by clicking here.

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2 Comments

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