Hubble Spies a Glittering Gathering of Stars

This glittering gathering of stars is the globular cluster NGC 6558, and it was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. NGC 6558 is closer to the centre of the Milky Way than Earth is, and lies about 23 000 light years away in the constellation Sagittarius.

Globular clusters like NGC 6558 are tightly bound collections of tens of thousands to millions of stars, and they can be found in a wide range of galaxies. As this observation shows, the stars in globular clusters can be densely packed; this image is thronged with stars in a rich variety of hues. Some of the brightest inhabitants of this globular cluster are surrounded by prominent diffraction spikes, which are imaging artefacts caused by starlight interacting with the inner workings of Hubble.

Globular clusters equip astronomers with interesting natural laboratories in which to test their theories, as all the stars in a globular cluster formed at approximately the same time with similar initial composition. These stellar clusters therefore provide unique insights into how different stars evolve under similar conditions. This image comes from a set of observations investigating globular clusters in the inner Milky Way. Astronomers were interested in studying these globular clusters to gain greater insight into how globular clusters in the inner Milky Way form and evolve.

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Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Cohen

About the Image

Id:potw2220a
Type:Observation
Release date:16 May 2022, 06:00
Size:4099 x 3718 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 6558
Type:Unspecified : Star : Grouping : Cluster : Globular
Constellation:Sagittarius
Category:Star Clusters
Stars

Image Formats

Large JPEG
9.2 MB
Screensize JPEG
694.1 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
727.4 KB
1280x1024
1.1 MB
1600x1200
1.6 MB
1920x1200
1.8 MB
2048x1536
2.4 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):18 10 13.36
Position (Dec):-31° 45' 52.91"
Field of view:3.41 x 3.10 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 3.1° left of vertical


Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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