Images of Hubble Globular cluster Liller 1


Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, F. Ferraro

The muted red tones of the globular cluster Liller 1 are partially obscured in this image by a dense scattering of piercing blue stars. In fact, it’s thanks to Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) that we can see Liller 1 so clearly in this image, because WFC3 is sensitive to wavelengths of light that the human eye can’t. not detect. Liller 1 is only 30,000 light-years from Earth – relatively nearby in astronomical terms – but it lies in the “bulge” of the Milky Way, the dense, dusty region at the center of our galaxy. For this reason, Liller 1 is heavily obscured by interstellar dust, which scatters visible light (especially blue light) very effectively. Fortunately, some infrared and red visible light can pass through these dusty regions. WFC3 is sensitive to both visible and near-infrared (near-infrared) wavelengths, allowing us to see through obscuring dust clouds and providing that spectacular view of Liller 1.

Liller 1 is a particularly interesting globular cluster, because unlike most of its kind, it contains a mixture of very young and very old stars. Globular clusters usually only house old stars, some almost as old as the universe itself. Liller 1 instead contains at least two distinct stellar populations with remarkably different ages: the oldest is 12 billion years old and the youngest is only 1–2 billion years old. This led astronomers to conclude that this star system was capable of forming stars over an extraordinarily long period of time.


The primordial history of the Milky Way and its fossil discoveries


Provided by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center


Quote: Hubble images globular cluster Liller 1 (2022, June 6) retrieved June 25, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-hubble-images-globular-clusterliller.html

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