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: Astronomers discover likely precursors of galaxy clusters we see today

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

Rocky planets may orbit many double stars

18 hours ago

Luke Skywalker's home in "Star Wars" is the desert planet Tatooine, with twin sunsets because it orbits two stars. So far, only uninhabitable gas-giant planets have been identified circling such binary stars, ...

Is the universe finite or infinite?

Mar 27, 2015

Two possiblities exist: either the Universe is finite and has a size, or it's infinite and goes on forever. Both possibilities have mind-bending implications.

'Teapot' nova begins to wane

Mar 27, 2015

A star, or nova, has appeared in the constellation of Sagittarius and, even though it is now waning, it is still bright enough to be visible in the sky over Perth through binoculars or a telescope.

Dark matter is darker than once thought

Mar 27, 2015

This panel of images represents a study of 72 colliding galaxy clusters conducted by a team of astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope. The research sets new limits on ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.