New Hubble telescope photo shows brilliant star cluster within a nearby galaxy

Hubble Images Reveal The Universe In Its Youth
Hubble Images Reveal The Universe In Its Youth

The Hubble Space Telescope stared deeply into a small galaxy not far from the Milky Way and saw something beautiful.

A new photo taken by the long-lived telescope shows a brilliant cluster of stars embedded within the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way 135,000 light-years away.

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The star cluster, named NGC 1854, is one of hundreds of star clusters of different kinds in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

"The LMC [Large Magellanic Cloud] is a hotbed of vigorous star formation. Rich in interstellar gas and dust, the galaxy is home to approximately 60 globular clusters and 700 open clusters," NASA said in a statement.

"These clusters are frequently the subject of astronomical research, as the Large Magellanic Cloud and its little sister, the Small Magellanic Cloud, are the only systems known to contain clusters at all stages of evolution."

Hubble scientists have used the telescope's cameras to snap images of this galaxy through the years because of its relatively close proximity to Earth.

Some researchers are particularly interested in that Hubble imagery in order to track the evolution of its star clusters through the years.

Hubble should be a productive space telescope for years to come. The intrepid eye in the sky just had its mission extended until at least 2021.

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