This is about 17,000 light-years away in the direction of the Centaurs.The Omega Cluster(Omega Centaurus). The horizontal area of the image is about 2.4 the diameters of a full moon (the field of view is 12.71 x 12.67 arcmin).
A globular cluster is a celestial body in which tens of thousands to millions of stars are gathered into a spherical shape. About 150 globular clusters have been discovered in the Milky Way so far, but the Omega Cluster is known to be the largest among them, containing about 10 million stars.
This image was created based on data obtained by the “NEWFIRM” Near Infrared Imager installed on the Blanco 4m telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile) (using three types of infrared filters). NEWFIRM, a wide-field, high-resolution observing instrument, was used alternately with the Blanco 4m telescope at Cerro Tololo and the Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak Observatory (Arizona, USA). It has been installed on the Blanco 4m Telescope since 2011 and has undergone a software and hardware upgrade before being moved.
According to the National Institute of Optical and Infrared Astronomy (NOIRLab) of the National Science Foundation (NSF), which released the image, NEWFIRM can be used to probe celestial objects corresponding to gravitational waves detected by gravitational-wave telescopes, and also in conjunction with the observing instrument ‘Dark Energy Camera’. (DECam)” attached to the telescope, and will also support observations at the “Vera Rubin Observatory” currently under construction.
Top image posted by NOIRLab on Mar 28, 2023.
- Image credit: CTIO/NOIRLab/DOE/NSF/AURA, TA Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOIRLab), M. Zamani & D. de Martin (NSF’s NOIRLab)
- NOIRLab – NEWFIRM photographer returns to NOIRLab in Chile, capturing the globular cluster Omega Centaurus
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