Messier 69

This is an image of the core fo the globular star cluster Messier 69. It is made up of visible light and infrared data taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The cluster was discovered by Charles Messier in 1780. It’s located 29,700 light-years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius. It’s too dim to be seen with the naked eye, but it can be viewed with a pair of binoculars, especially during August.

The stars in M69 have over ten times more iron than stars in other globular clusters of the same age. Iron is the heaviest element created by fusion in a star unless it explodes as a supernova.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

Messier 2

Messier 2 or M2 (aka NGC 7089) is a globular cluster in the constellation Aquarius. It’s one of the larger globular clusters known—rich, compact, and significantly elliptical—containing over 150,000 stars. It’s one of the oldest globulars in our galaxy, around 13 billion years old. This Hubble image shows the core of the cluster.

Image Credits: NASA, ESA, STScI, and A. Sarajedini (University of Florida)

Messier 70

Messier 70 (aka M70 or NGC 6681) is a globular cluster of stars in the southern constellation of Sagittarius. It’s about 29,400 light-years away from Earth and roughly 6,500 light-years from the Galactic Center. M70 has undergone core collapse, so it has a very small core radius of 0.22 light-years.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

Messier 62

Messier 62 is located relatively close to the galactic center, so tidal forces likely are responsible for its being one of the most irregularly shaped globular clusters. The core of M62 (toward the upper right in this Hubble image) contains around 150,000 stars and its very own stellar mass black hole.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA