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NASA has released a Hubble Space Telescope image of the globular cluster Terzan 2 in the constellation Scorpius. Stable, tightly bound clusters of tens of thousands to millions of stars are called globular clusters and are found in various galaxies. They get their regular, spherical shape from the intense gravitational attraction between tightly packed stars. As you can see in the picture, globular clusters have hearts overflowing with lots of twinkling stars.
Hubble took the image with its Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3, taking advantage of the instruments’ complementary capabilities. Hubble’s design allows multiple instruments to be used to inspect astronomical objects, despite having only one primary mirror. Light from distant astronomical objects enters the telescope’s 2.4-meter primary mirror. The primary mirror then reflects the light into the depths of the telescope, where the smaller mirror directs the light into the individual instruments.
The new Hubble image looks remarkably similar to the Terzan 9 image captured earlier this year. Although they look very similar, Terzan 2 and Terzan 9 are in different parts of the sky as seen from Earth. Terzan 2 is in the constellation of Scorpio, while Terzan 9 is in the constellation of Sagittarius.
Earlier this week, Hubble captured a “galactic gem”: the CGCG 396-2 galaxy merger, an unusual multi-armed galaxy merger 520 million light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Orion. The galaxy merger observation was first made by volunteers who are part of the citizen science project Galaxy Zoo.
NASA also released the first series of images from the more advanced James Webb Space Telescope, which is also further from Earth than Hubble and is located at the second Lagrange point. Webb’s first set of images showed everything from “star formation cliffs” and the presence of water on a distant exoplanet to the “cosmic dance” of black holes and galaxies and the death throes of a star at the end of its life. .