See the cluster of stars at the heart of the Milky Way

Hubble captured ESO 520-21, a globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus, in the center of the Milky Way. Photos courtesy of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Hubble snapped a new image of a glittering star cluster. Astronomers used the Wide Field Camera 3. This space object is also known as ESO 520-21 or Palomar 6. It is a globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus, which belongs to the halo of the Milky Way galaxy. It was first discovered by Roberto J. Harrington and Fritz Zwicky on the sky plates of the Palomar Observatory of the National Geographic Society.

Despite the fact that the Palomar 6 cluster has been studied many times, some important parameters of this cluster, such as distance to it, age and metallicity, were only very roughly estimated until recently. The visibility makes it difficult to locate the cluster – near the center of the Milky Way, where gas and dust absorb starlight and make observation difficult.

This process changes the color of astronomical objects, for example, they appear redder than they actually are. Astronomers refer to this process as “reddening,” and it makes determining the properties of globular clusters near the galactic center, such as ESO 520-21, especially difficult.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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