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Astronomy Picture of the Day

Posted By Editor On May 10, 2011 @ 6:54 am In Photo Essays | Comments Disabled

Stars, like bees, swarm around the center of bright globular cluster M15. This ball of over 100,000 stars is a relic from the early years of our Galaxy, and continues to orbit the Milky Way’s center.


m15 hst 4089 670x670 Astronomy Picture of the Day [1]

Globular Cluster M15 from Hubble
Credit: ESA [2]Hubble [3]NASA [4]

Explanation: Stars, like bees, swarm around the center of bright globular cluster M15. This ball of over 100,000 stars [5] is a relic from the early years [6] of our Galaxy [7], and continues to orbit the Milky Way’s center [8]M15 [9], one of about 150globular clusters [10] remaining, is noted for being easily visible with only binoculars [11], having at its center one of the densest concentrations of stars [12] known, and containing a high abundance of variable stars [13] and pulsars [14]This sharp image [15], taken by the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope [16], spans about 120 light years [17]. It shows the dramatic increase in density of stars toward the cluster’s center. M15 [18] lies about 35,000 light years [19] away toward the constellation [20] of the Winged Horse (Pegasus [21]). Recent evidence [22] indicates that a massive black hole [23] might reside as the center of M15 [24].

Visit the NASA/JPL website to view more Astronomy Pictures of the Day [25]

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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/m15_hst_4089.jpg

[2] ESA: http://www.esa.int/

[3] Hubble: http://www.spacetelescope.org/

[4] NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/

[5] stars: http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/universe_level2/stars.html

[6] early years: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980719.html

[7] our Galaxy: http://www.seds.org/messier/more/mw.html

[8] Milky Way’s center: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060716.html

[9] M15: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un5xLqe_4WY

[10] globular clusters: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/globular_clusters.html

[11] binoculars: http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/binoculars1.html

[12] densest concentrations of stars: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000804.html

[13] variable stars: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070415.html

[14] pulsars: http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/pulsars.html

[15] This sharp image: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1107a/

[16] Hubble Space Telescope: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Space_Telescope

[17] light years: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_year

[18] M15: http://www.astr.ua.edu/gifimages/m15r.html

[19] light years: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html

[20] constellation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constellation#History

[21] Pegasus: http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/constellations/Pegasus.html

[22] Recent evidence: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1998AJ....115..708D

[23] black hole: http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/NumRel/BlackHoles.html

[24] center of M15: http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18009

[25] Astronomy Pictures of the Day: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/

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