Trio of Images of the Arches Cluster
These images of the Arches cluster, taken by three different telescopes, reveal progressively more detail in the tightly packed collection of about 2,000 stars. The Arches is the densest star cluster in our Milky Way Galaxy and resides in our galaxy's crowded core.
Astronomers used the image at right, taken with Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer, to determine if stars in the cluster have a weight limit at birth. Hubble's infrared camera is well suited to analyze the cluster because it penetrates the dusty core of our galaxy and produces sharp images, allowing the telescope to see individual stars in a tightly packed grouping.