Messier 3 Credit: SDSS r9 (J2000) RA: 13 42 18.756 Dec: +28 24 11.39 Messier 3 (NGC 5272) is a globular cluster of stars in Canes Venatici. It was discovered by Charles Messier on May 3, 1764. M3 is one of the largest and brightest globular clusters, and is made up of around 500,000 stars. It is estimated to be 8 billion years old. It is located at a distance of about 33,900 light-years and an apparent magnitude of 6,2.
Dramatically backlit dust lanes in #NGC7049 - The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of NGC 7049 in the constellation of Indus, in the southern sky. A family of globular clusters appears as glittering spots dusted around the galaxy halo. Astronomers study the globular clusters in NGC 7049 to learn more about its formation and evolution. The dust lanes, which appear as a lacy web, are dramatically backlit by the millions of stars in the halo of NGC 7049.
This stellar swarm is M80 (NGC 6093), one of the densest of the 147 known globular star clusters in the Milky Way galaxy. Located about 28,000 light-years from Earth, M80 contains hundreds of thousands of stars, all held together by their mutual gravitational attraction. Globular clusters are particularly useful for studying stellar evolution, since all of the stars in the cluster have the same age (about 15 billion years), but cover a range of stellar masses.
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