A snapshot of Abell 1689's globular clusters

Peering deep into the heart of the massive galaxy cluster Abell 1689, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope recently spied some 10 000 globular clusters. From this, the astronomers estimate that this galaxy cluster could possibly contain over 160 000 globulars overall, the largest population ever found. By comparison, our  galaxy, the Milky Way, hosts about 150 such clusters.

Globular clusters are dense collections of hundreds of thousands of stars – some of the oldest surviving stars in the Universe.

This view zooms into the region of this cluster that has been found to be packed with globular clusters. They appear as thousands of tiny white dots, like a blizzard of snowflakes. The larger white blobs are entire galaxies full of stars.

Credit:

Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Blakeslee (NRC Herzberg Astrophysics Program, Dominion Astrophysical Observatory), and K. Alamo-Martinez (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Acknowledgment: H. Ford (JHU)

About the Image

Id:heic1317c
Type:Observation
Release date:12 September 2013, 17:00
Related releases:heic1317
Size:626 x 847 px

About the Object

Name:Abell 1689, Virgo Cluster
Type:• Early Universe : Star : Grouping : Cluster
• Early Universe : Galaxy : Type : Gravitationally Lensed
• X - Star Clusters Images/Videos
Distance:2 billion light years

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BandWavelengthTelescope
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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