Hot on the heels of the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope shared last week, the Hubble Space Telescope has released another stunning view of the cosmos.
The new Hubble image captures a globular cluster named Terzan 2, which is located in the constellation Scorpio. Globular clusters are dense collections of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of ancient stars that help shed light on the history of the universe.
“The intense gravitational pull between closely spaced stars gives globular clusters a regular spherical shape,” European Space Agency officials said. said in a press release. “As a result, images of the cores of globular clusters, like this sighting of Terzan 2, are filled with a multitude of twinkling stars.”
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The recent image from Hubble, which ESA shared on July 11, was captured using the Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and its Wide Field Camera 3. Hubble detects light from objects distant astronomical objects, which is then reflected by its secondary mirror to smaller mirrors which direct the light into individual instruments.
“Each of the four operational instruments on Hubble is a masterpiece of astronomical engineering in its own right, and contains an intricate array of mirrors and other optical elements to remove aberrations or optical imperfections from observations, as well as filters that allow astronomers to observe specific wavelength ranges,” ESA officials said in “The mirrors inside each instrument also correct for the slight imperfection in Hubble’s main mirror. The end result is a crystal-clear observation, like this scintillating portrait of Terzan 2.”
Recent sightings of Terzan 2 resemble another globular cluster called Terzan 9, which is located in the constellation Sagittarius near the center of the Milky Way. Hubble’s view of Terzan 9, which the ESA shared on June 13 (opens in a new tab)shows a twinkling starry scene resembling a “treasure chest stuffed full of gold,” according to a statement from the space agency.