The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured an amazing new photo of the globular cluster Liller 1.
Liller 1 is located approximately 30,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius.
Also known as C 1730-333, it lies within the Milky Way’s bulge, the dense and dusty region at the Galactic center.
Liller 1 is a particularly interesting globular cluster, because unlike most of its kind, it contains a mix of young and old stars.
“Globular clusters typically house only old stars, some nearly as old as the Universe itself,” Hubble astronomers said.
“Liller1 instead contains at least two distinct stellar populations with remarkably different ages: the oldest one is 12 billion years old and the youngest component is just 1-2 billion years old.”
“This led us to conclude that this stellar system was able to form stars over an extraordinary long period of time.”
The color image of Liller 1 was made from separate exposures taken in the visible and near-infrared regions of the spectrum with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).
Two filters were used to sample various wavelengths. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.
“Liller 1 is heavily obscured from view by interstellar dust, which scatters visible light (particularly blue light) very effectively,” the researchers said.
“Fortunately, some infrared and red visible light are able to pass through these dusty regions.”
“In fact, it is thanks to Hubble’s WFC3 instrument that we are able to see Liller 1 so clearly in this image, because the WFC3 is sensitive to wavelengths of light that the human eye cannot detect.”
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