A Star Cluster in Another Galaxy


The clump of stars in the center of the picture is the globular cluster NGC 1898. It’s not in our galaxy. It’s near the middle of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of The Milky Way which contains a rich population of star clusters, making it an ideal laboratory for investigating star formation.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

M92


Messier 92 is one of the brightest globular clusters in the northern sky, but it is often overlooked by amateur astronomers because of its proximity to the even more spectacular Messier 13. It is visible to the naked eye under very good seeing conditions. Indeed, M92 is among the brightest clusters in terms of absolute magnitude as well as being one of the oldest clusters in the Milky Way.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

NGC 3201


NGC 3201 is an oddball among the 150-or-so globular star clusters in the Milky Way. It is moving very rapidly through the galaxy, and its motion is retrograde, that is, it’s orbiting around the galactic core in the opposite direction of most of the stars in the galaxy. That’s led to speculation that it may have come from outside and have been captured.

Also, it contains a black hole which was revealed by the strange movements of a star being quickly flung around the massive, invisible singularity.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

Messier 5


Messier 5 (aka M5) is a globular star cluster of over 100,000 stars bound by gravity and packed into a region about 165 light-years across. It’s about 25,000 light-years away. Globular star clusters are ancient members of the Milky Way, and M5 is one of the oldest. Its stars are nearly 13 billion years old.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA