Astronomy Picture of the Day

Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae from SALT

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#79403 by @ 06.09.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae from SALT

Stars come in bunches.

Of the over 200
globular star clusters
that orbit the center of our
Milky Way Galaxy,
47 Tucanae is the second brightest globular cluster, behind
Omega Centauri.

Known to some affectionately as 47 Tuc or NGC 104,
it is only visible from Earth's
Southern Hemisphere.

It was therefore a fitting target for
first light observations of the gigantic new 10-meter diameter
Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) this past week.

The resulting image is
shown above.

Light takes about 20,000 years to reach us from
47 Tuc which can be seen near the
Small Magellanic Cloud toward the
constellation of Tucana.

The dynamics of stars near the center of
47 Tuc are not well understood, particularly why there are so few
binary systems there.

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