Image: Hubble's Messier 5

Apr 27, 2014
Credit: NASA, Hubble Space Telescope, ESA

"Beautiful Nebula discovered between the Balance [Libra] & the Serpent [Serpens] ..." begins the description of the 5th entry in 18th century astronomer Charles Messier's famous catalog of nebulae and star clusters.

Though it appeared to Messier to be fuzzy and round and without , Messier 5 (M5) is now known to be a , 100,000 stars or more, bound by gravity and packed into a region around 165 light-years in diameter.

It lies some 25,000 light-years away. Roaming the halo of our galaxy, globular star clusters are ancient members of the Milky Way.

M5 is one of the oldest globulars, its stars estimated to be nearly 13 billion years old. The beautiful is a popular target for Earthbound telescopes.

Of course, deployed in low Earth orbit on April 25, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has also captured its own stunning close-up view that spans about 20 light-years near the central region of M5.

Even close to its dense core at the left, the 's aging red and blue giant stars and rejuvenated blue stragglers stand out in yellow and blue hues in the sharp color image.

Explore further: Hubble views an old and mysterious cluster

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hubble views an old and mysterious cluster

Nov 14, 2013

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the best ever image of the globular cluster Messier 15, a gathering of very old stars that orbits the centre of the Milky Way. This glittering cluster contains ...

Messier 7: Diamonds in the tail of the scorpion

Feb 19, 2014

(Phys.org) —A new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the bright star cluster Messier 7. Easily spotted with the naked eye close to the tail of the constellation of Scorpius, it is one ...

Hubble sees Messier 70: Tight and bright

Apr 13, 2012

(Phys.org) -- In this image, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the brilliance of the compact center of Messier 70, a globular cluster. Quarters are always tight in globular clusters, where the ...

Hubble captures a collection of ancient stars

Aug 27, 2012

(Phys.org)—The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced this beautiful image of the globular cluster Messier 56 (also known as M 56 or NGC 6779), which is located about 33,000 light years away from ...

Hubble has an audience of stellar flashbulbs

Jul 23, 2012

(Phys.org) -- The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a crowd of stars that looks rather like a stadium darkened before a show, lit only by the flashbulbs of the audience’s cameras. Yet the many ...

Glittering jewels of Messier 9

Mar 16, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced the most detailed image so far of Messier 9, a globular star cluster located close to the center of the galaxy. This ball of stars is too faint ...

Recommended for you

Toothpaste fluorine formed in stars

2 hours ago

The fluorine that is found in products such as toothpaste was likely formed billions of years ago in now dead stars of the same type as our sun. This has been shown by astronomers at Lund University in Sweden, ...

Swirling electrons in the whirlpool galaxy

22 hours ago

The whirlpool galaxy Messier 51 (M51) is seen from a distance of approximately 30 million light years. This galaxy appears almost face-on and displays a beautiful system of spiral arms.

A spectacular landscape of star formation

Aug 20, 2014

This image, captured by the Wide Field Imager at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, shows two dramatic star formation regions in the Milky Way. The first, on the left, is dominated by the star cluster NGC ...

Exoplanet measured with remarkable precision

Aug 19, 2014

Barely 30 years ago, the only planets astronomers had found were located right here in our own solar system. The Milky Way is chock-full of stars, millions of them similar to our own sun. Yet the tally ...

User comments : 0