FromQuarkstoQuasars

Astronomy Photo of the Day: 5/15/15 — 47 Tucanae

Jaime TrosperMay 15th 2015
47 Tucanae
Image Credit: Daniel Verschatse

Found approximately 16,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Tucana, this cluster goes by the name 47 Tucanae (after the constellation in which it resides).

Otherwise known as NGC 104, the globular cluster—only dwarfed in brightness by Omega Centauri—is known to hang out on the border of the Milky Way, and it can tell us key information about our galaxy itself, and the nature of stellar corpses (like neutron stars and white dwarfs).

Astronomers estimate that it contains millions of stars, many rather exotic, all densely packed within just 120 light-years of spacetime. Imagine the view one would see from a planet near the center of the cluster (the closest star from the Sun is more than 4 light-years away from Earth, so the view would be amazing, indeed!)

See a larger image here.

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