Globular Cluster NGC 1846

Hubble Photo Shows Gorgeous Globular Cluster

NASA Hubble Space Telescope new image shows globular cluster NGC 1846, a spherical collection of hundreds of thousands of stars in the outer halo of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way that can be seen from the southern hemisphere. NGC 1846 lies 160,000 light-years away in the constellation Doradus. The bright red and blue dots in this cluster represent luminous, aging stars. The whitish ones, in turn, are middle-aged. A myriad of far distant background galaxies of varying shapes and structure are scattered around the image. The most intriguing object is a faint green bubble near the bottom center of the image. This so-called planetary nebula is the aftermath of the death of a star.

The burned-out central star can be seen inside the bubble. Measurements of the motion of the cluster stars and the planetary nebula’s central star suggest it might be a cluster member.