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News Release 18 of 42

July 10, 2001 04:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2001-25

Hubble Snaps Picture of Remarkable Double Cluster

July 10, 2001: These two dazzling clusters of stars, called NGC 1850, are found in one of our neighboring galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud. The photo's centerpiece is a young, "globular-like" star cluster -- a type of object unknown in our own Milky Way Galaxy. The smaller second cluster is below and to the right of the main cluster. The stars are surrounded by a filigree pattern of diffuse gas [left], which scientists believe was created by the explosion of massive stars.

Q & A: Understanding the Discovery

  1. 1. What are globular star clusters?

  2. They are an assemblage of up to a million stars that all share the same origin. Traditionally, globular clusters are usually composed of old stars. But the Hubble picture reveals a globular-like cluster [center] of young stars, about 50 million years old. Young, globular star clusters are a special class of celestial objects. They don't exist in our Milky Way Galaxy.

    NGC 1850 is one of the brightest star clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

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Image Credits: NASA, ESA, and Martino Romaniello (European Southern Observatory, Germany)

Acknowledgments: The image processing for this image was done by Martino Romaniello, Richard Hook, Bob Fosbury and the Hubble European Space Agency Information Center.