NGC 1805


This tight grouping of thousands of stars is located near the edge of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way. The stars orbit closely to one another, like bees swarming around a hive. In the dense center of one of these clusters, stars are 100 to 1,000 times closer together than the nearest stars are to our Sun, making planetary systems around them unlikely.

Usually, globular clusters contain stars that are born at the same time. NGC 1805 is unusual because it contains two different populations of stars with ages millions of years apart. Observing such clusters of stars can provide data on how stars evolve and on what factors determine whether they end their lives as white dwarfs or explode as supernovae.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

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