See this spectacular view of stellar cluster Liller 1 captured by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3

Devdiscourse News Desk | Paris | Updated: 23-05-2022 14:49 IST | Created: 23-05-2022 14:49 IST
See this spectacular view of stellar cluster Liller 1 captured by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, F. Ferraro

The European Space Agency (ESA) on Monday shared a spectacular view of globular cluster Liller 1 captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. In the new Hubble image, the muted red tones of the stellar cluster are partially obscured by a dense scattering of piercingly blue stars.

Liller 1 is clearly visible in this image, all thanks to Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), which is sensitive to wavelengths of light - both visible and near-infrared - that the human eye cannot detect.

According to ESA, Liller 1 lies within our home galaxy Milky Way's 'bulge', the dense and dusty region at our galaxy's centre. Because of that, the stellar cluster is heavily obscured from view by interstellar dust, which scatters visible light (particularly blue light) very effectively. Fortunately, some infrared and red visible light are able to pass through these dusty regions.

Liller 1 is located only 30,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius. The globular cluster is of particular interest to astronomers because unlike most of its kind, it contains a mix of very young and very old stars. It contains at least two distinct stellar populations with remarkably different ages, with the oldest one being 12 billion years old and the youngest component being just 1-2 billion years old.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has been in low-Earth orbit since 1990. The space-based premium observatory has made more than 1.5 million scientific observations in its 31+ years of operation.

The WFC3 was installed during Hubble Servicing Mission 4 in 2009 and it can observe ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared light. It studies a diverse range of objects and phenomena - from young and extremely distant galaxies to much more nearby stellar systems, to objects within our very own solar system and exoplanets - planets outside our solar system.

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