Hubble Telescope Captures Stunning Snowball-Like Globular Cluster in the LMC

Stargazer Daily
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Credit: ESA/Hubble

Although the wish for a white Christmas may not be fulfilled this year, the Hubble Space Telescope has actually managed to assure the event of a snowball battle during the holiday. By collecting data, Hubble aided in producing a breathtaking image of a closely-knit group of stars appearing like a celestial snowball. This fascinating formation exists within a smaller sized galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which orbits our own Milky Way.

NGC 2210, a spherical collection of stars, is positioned roughly 158,000 light-years away from our planet. Researchers believe it to have an age of around 11.6 billion years, putting it in the exact same age range as various other globular clusters located in the Large Magellanic Cloud and the oldest ones located in the outer region of our galaxy, known as the Milky Way’s halo.

Significantly, NGC 2210 is relatively young compared to the age of the Universe, being just roughly 2.2 billion years more younger. In spite of its vibrant apperance, it is really one of the more younger LMC globular clusters that astronomers have observed. Its exploration was made throughout a research campaign in 2017, which made use of several of the very same information that was utilized to create the image we see today.

Throughout the exact same set of observations, added groups were observed that were much more old than NGC 2210. 4 of these clusters appeared to have actually formed over 13 billion years earlier, which suggests that they originated quickly after the Big Bang, just a few hundred million years later on.

The lasting survival of globular clusters, home to a large number of stars, can be attributed to their remarkable gravitational cohesion. This stability makes them a perfect emphasis for astronomers looking for to examine aged star populations.

Astronomers find it fascinating that NGC 2210 and various other globular clusters in the LMC have the very same age as globular clusters in the Galaxy. This resemblance recommends that both groups developed at the same time, even though the LMC and our galaxy have seperate origins.

In 1835, John Herschel first uncovered NGC 2210, a globular cluster that would later on be fully imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990. The sensational image recorded by Hubble not just highlights the scientific importance of the cluster, yet likewise its spectacular beauty, making it a sight to behold.

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