This video zooms in from a view of the southern constellation Tucana to the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, which sits 16,700 light-years away from Earth. 47 Tucanae is 10.5 billion years old and is one of the brightest of our Milky Way galaxy's more than 150 globular clusters. Astronomers used Hubble Space Telescope images to accurately measure the changes in positions of more than 30,000 stars in 47 Tucanae. Linking these stars' ages and their orbital dynamics allowed researchers to identify two distinct generations of stars in the cluster. The Milky Way's globular clusters are the surviving relics from our galaxy's formation, and this analysis offers scientists better insight into the early history of our galaxy.
Publication: July 18, 2013