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    A Swarm of Ancient Stars

    A Swarm of Ancient Stars

    WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES

    12.08.2009

    Courtesy Photo

    NASA

    This stellar swarm is M80 (NGC 6093), one of the densest of the 147 known globular star clusters in the Milky Way galaxy. Located about 28,000 light-years from Earth, M80 contains hundreds of thousands of stars, all held together by their mutual gravitational attraction. Globular clusters are particularly useful for studying stellar evolution, since all of the stars in the cluster have the same age (about 15 billion years), but cover a range of stellar masses. Every star visible in this image is either more highly evolved than, or in a few rare cases more massive than, our own Sun. Especially obvious are the bright red giants, which are stars similar to the Sun in mass that are nearing the ends of their lives.

    NASA Identifier: GPN-2000-000930

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    IMAGE INFO

    Date Taken: 12.08.2009
    Date Posted: 10.19.2012 18:35
    Photo ID: 761211
    Resolution: 1464x1536
    Size: 586.89 KB
    Location: WASHINGTON, DC, US 

    Web Views: 1,785
    Downloads: 104
    Podcast Hits: 0

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