(ORDO NEWS) — Although these two images may look very different, they are actually images of the same cosmic object – the globular cluster NGC 1850.
Although both images were taken by the same Hubble instrument, different filters were used to obtain them.
The blue nebula image spans near-infrared and visible light, while the red nebula image is taken over a wider range, from near-ultraviolet to early-infrared.
Ultraviolet observations are ideal for detecting light from the hottest and youngest stars.
This 100 million year old globular cluster is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.
The cluster lies about 160,000 light-years away in the constellation Dorado. Unlike most globular clusters, the stars of NGC 1850 are relatively young.
Astrophysicists speculate that when the first generation of stars was born in NGC 1850, the stars ejected material in the form of dust and gas into the surrounding space.
The density of the star cluster was so high that this ejected material could not escape the gravitational pull of the cluster and remained nearby.
The strong gravity of the cluster also attracted gaseous hydrogen and helium. These two sources combined to form a second generation of stars, increasing the density and size of this globular cluster.
In 2021, scientists discovered the presence of a black hole in NGC 1850. They also observed many bright, hot blue stars (seen on the right in the second image) that die younger than red stars.
There are also about 200 red giants in the cluster. The cluster is surrounded by a nebula of dust and gas
The mass of NGC 1850 is about 63,000 times that of the Sun, and the diameter of the core is about 20 light-years.
Astronomers have used observations from the Hubble Space Telescope over a wide range of wavelengths to image this large star cluster and learn more about star formation.
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