The iconic Hubble Space Telescope has captured a glimpse of a new photo of a densely crowded region of stars placed in the constellation Sagittarius.
The assemblage of stars is a rounded cluster recognized as NGC 6558, which lies 23,000 light-years from Earth. At this distance, the cluster resides closer to the center of the Milky Way than Earth does, according to a statement from the European Space Agency (ESA), which published the image on May 16.
The new photo was snatched by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, designed to survey large areas of the sky that are noticeable at red wavelengths. The telescope is an international collaboration between NASA and ESA.
“Globular clusters like NGC 6558 are tightly bound collections of tens of thousands to millions of stars, and they can be found in a wide range of galaxies,” ESA officials announced. “As this observation shows, the stars in globular clusters can be densely packed; this image is thronged with stars in a rich variety of hues.” They added.
“Globular clusters equip astronomers with interesting natural laboratories in which to test their theories, as all the stars in a globular cluster formed at approximately the same time with similar initial composition,” ESA representatives told in the statement. “These stellar clusters therefore provide unique insights into how different stars evolve under similar conditions.”