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A dense cluster of stars. It is brightest and most crowded in the center, where the stars are mostly a cool white color. Moving out towards the edges the stars become more spread out and reddish until a noticeable ‘edge’ to the cluster is reached. Beyond that edge there are still many stars, more disorganized and seen on a black background. Some stars appear to be in front of the cluster.

Cluster in the Cloud

This striking image shows the densely packed globular cluster known as NGC 2210, which is situated in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The LMC lies about 157 000 light-years from Earth, and is a so-called satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, meaning that the two galaxies are gravitationally bound. Globular clusters are very stable, tightly bound clusters of thousands or even millions of stars. Their stability means that they can last a long time, and therefore globular clusters are often studied in order to investigate potentially very old stellar populations.

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Sarajedini

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