Astronomy Picture of the Day



Globular Star Cluster M3

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#101606 by @ 10.06.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Globular Star Cluster M3


Explanation:

This immense ball of half a million stars older than the Sun lies
over 30,000 light-years away.

Cataloged as M3
(and NGC 5272),
it is one of about 150
globular star
clusters
that roam the halo of our
Milky
Way Galaxy
.

Even in this
impressively
sharp image
, individual stars are difficult to distinguished in the
densely
packed core, but colors are apparent for the bright stars on the
cluster's outskirts.

M3's many cool "red" giant stars take on a yellowish cast,
while hotter giants and pulsating
variable stars look light blue.

A closer look
at the deep telescopic view also reveals a host
of background galaxies.

Itself about 200 light-years across, the giant star cluster is
a relatively bright, easy target for binoculars
in the northern constellation Canes Venatici,
The
Hunting Dogs
, and not far from
Arcturus.




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