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Astronomy Picture of the Day

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.

 

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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]