The aging Hubble Space Telescope has been orbiting around the Earth for decades, capturing stunning observations of the universe around us. Although it is nearing the end of its life, it produces remarkable images, the latest of which have been exposed by NASA. The photo, which is a combination of several different images, contains a circular cluster called NGC 1805.
This cluster is notable because of how close the stars are to each other – in fact so close, that NASA says that the planetary system is ‘unlikely’ to be found near them. Similarly, Hubble’s camera technology enabled it to capture different wavelengths of light, resulting in a blue or green color all the way from star to star.
Blue stars show almost ultraviolet light, while red stars show almost infrared and red light. Ground-based observatories are not able to observe most ultraviolet light, as it is absorbed by the atmosphere, making such images unique to space-based telescopes such as Hubble, which is above the Earth’s atmosphere.
NASA states that the NGC 1805 cluster seen in this image is unusual, as it has two populations of stars that have been separated by millions of years. It differs from typical spherical clusters, which usually characterize all ‘born’ stars at the same time. The unique nature of the cluster makes it more valuable for scientists.