Hubble's view of dazzling globular cluster NGC 6397

This ancient stellar jewelry box, a globular cluster called NGC 6397, glitters with the light from hundreds of thousands of stars.

Astronomers used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to gauge the cluster’s distance at 7800 light-years away. NGC 6397 is one of the closest globular clusters to Earth.

The cluster’s blue stars are near the end of their lives. These stars have used up their hydrogen fuel that makes them shine. Now they are converting helium to energy in their cores, which fuses at a higher temperature and appears blue.

The reddish glow is from red giant stars that have consumed their hydrogen fuel and have expanded in size.

The myriad small white objects include stars like our Sun.

This image is composed of a series of observations taken from July 2004 to June 2005 with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. The research team used Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 to measure the distance to the cluster.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, and T. Brown and S. Casertano (STScI)
Acknowledgement: NASA, ESA, and J. Anderson (STScI)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo1824a
Type:Observation
Release date:11 February 2021, 16:00
Related releases:heic2103
Size:4924 x 3693 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 6397
Type:Milky Way : Star : Grouping : Cluster : Globular
Distance:7800 light years
Constellation:Ara
Category:Star Clusters

Image Formats

Large JPEG
4.1 MB
Screensize JPEG
349.3 KB

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422.6 KB
1280x1024
606.2 KB
1600x1200
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1.1 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):17 40 40.09
Position (Dec):-53° 40' 11.74"
Field of view:3.29 x 2.47 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.1° left of vertical


Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
435 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
r
625 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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