Hubble’s newest image shows some of the most densely packed stars in the cosmos

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posted Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 2:47 PM EDT

 
NASA, ESA

The newest image from the Hubble telescope is a chaotic splatter of light. Crammed with thousands of stars of all sizes and shape, it's almost impossible to make heads or tails of. And that's what makes it so impressive — it's an image of Messier 15, one of the most densely packed globular clusters in all of space.

Located some 35,000 light years away in the constellation of Pegasus, it's one of the oldest globular clusters known, estimated to be soome 12 billion years of age. It contains more than 100,000 stars, ranging from cool golden ones, to extremely hot blue ones. To make matters even more intriguin, it's thought that the center of Messier 15 contains either a collection of dark neutron stars, or an intermediate-mass black hole.

The image itself was captured by Hubble using its Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys in the ultraviolet, infrared and optical spectrums. The Wide Field Camera 3 was installed in 2009, and uses a specially built 16 megapixel, high sensitivity, low noise CCD array.

Messier 15 is large enough to be seen from the ground, even just by using binoculars. If you want to get a closer look at this new photo from the Hubble, you can download the full sized image, or view a zoomable online on, from here.

 
NASA, ESA

(via Colossal)