Hubble observes the sparkling star cluster NGC 6558

(ORDO NEWS) — An image of the globular cluster NGC 6558 was taken by NASA/ESA’s Advanced Camera on the Hubble Space Telescope.

NGC 6558 is located in the constellation Sagittarius, about 23,000 light years away. The cluster is closer to the center of the Milky Way than Earth.

Globular clusters are tightly bound by gravity associations that can consist of tens of thousands, and sometimes even millions of stars, orbiting the galactic center.

NGC 6558 is a densely populated cluster filled with stars of a wide variety of hues. Some of its brightest inhabitants have noticeable diffraction spikes.

These image artifacts are the result of starlight interacting with the telescope’s secondary mirror support system.

Globular clusters are natural laboratories where astronomers can test their theories. Because the stars in these clusters form at about the same time and in the same environment, they provide a unique source of information about how different stars might evolve under similar conditions.

This image was taken from a series of observations looking at globular clusters in the inner Milky Way.

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