Latest Omega Centauri Stories

2011-06-08 10:50:00

VST and 268 megapixel OmegaCAM start work The VLT Survey Telescope (VST), the latest addition to ESO's Paranal Observatory, has made its first release of impressive images of the southern sky. The VST is a state-of-the-art 2.6-meter telescope, with the huge 268-megapixel camera OmegaCAM at its heart, which is designed to map the sky both quickly and with very fine image quality. It is a visible-light telescope that perfectly complements ESO's VISTA infrared survey telescope. New images of the...

2010-10-26 10:20:00

The globular star cluster Omega Centauri has caught the attention of sky watchers ever since the ancient astronomer Ptolemy first catalogued it 2,000 years ago. Ptolemy, however, thought Omega Centauri was a single star. He didn't know that the "star" was actually a beehive swarm of nearly 10 million stars, all orbiting a common center of gravity. The stars are so tightly crammed together that astronomers had to wait for the powerful vision of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to peer deep into...

2009-04-07 15:25:00

A new Hubble image highlights striking swirling dust lanes and glittering globular clusters in oddball galaxy NGC 7049. The NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured this image of NGC 7049, a mysterious looking galaxy on the border between spiral and elliptical galaxies. NGC 7049 is found in the constellation of Indus, and is the brightest of a cluster of galaxies, a so-called Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG). Typical BCGs are some of the oldest and most massive galaxies. They provide...

2008-12-04 09:30:00

Like a whirl of shiny flakes sparkling in a snow globe, Hubble catches an instantaneous glimpse of many hundreds of thousands of stars moving about in the globular cluster M13, one of the brightest and best-known globular clusters in the northern sky. This glittering metropolis of stars is easily found in the winter sky in the constellation Hercules and can even be glimpsed with the unaided eye under dark skies. M13 is home to over 100,000 stars and located at a distance of 25,000...

2008-12-02 08:00:00

Omega Centauri is one of the finest jewels of the southern hemisphere night sky, as ESO's latest stunning image beautifully illustrates. Containing millions of stars, this globular cluster is located roughly 17 000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus. Sparkling away at magnitude 3.7 and appearing nearly as large as the full moon on the southern night sky, Omega Centauri is visible with the unaided eye from a clear, dark observing site. Even through a modest amateur...

2008-08-05 12:10:00

Globular star clusters, dense bunches of hundreds of thousands of stars, have some of the oldest surviving stars in the universe. A new study of globular clusters outside our Milky Way Galaxy has found evidence that these hardy pioneers are more likely to form in dense areas, where star birth occurs at a rapid rate, instead of uniformly from galaxy to galaxy. Astronomers used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to identify over 11,000 globular clusters in the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Most are...

2008-04-10 12:55:00

Millions of clustered stars glisten like an iridescent opal in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Called Omega Centauri, this sparkling orb of stars is like a miniature galaxy. It is the biggest and brightest of the more than 150 similar objects, called globular clusters, that orbit around the outside of our Milky Way galaxy. Stargazers at southern latitudes can spot the stellar gem with the naked eye in the constellation Centaurus. Spitzer's new infrared view, which has been...

2008-04-02 09:40:00

Omega Centauri has been known as an unusual globular cluster for a long time. A new result obtained by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Observatory reveals that the explanation behind omega Centauri's peculiarities may be a black hole hidden in its center. One implication of the discovery is that it is very likely that omega Centauri is not a globular cluster at all, but a dwarf galaxy stripped of its outer stars, as some scientists have suspected for a few years.Omega...

2007-05-02 10:21:45

Astronomers have long thought that globular star clusters had a single "baby boom" of stars early in their lives and then settled into a quiet existence. New observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, however, are showing that this idea may be too simple. The Hubble analysis of the massive globular cluster NGC 2808 provides evidence that star birth went "boom, boom, boom," with three generations of stars forming very early in the cluster's life. "We had never imagined that anything like...

2007-03-13 10:01:43

New Globular Cluster Found in Milky Way Images made with ESO's New Technology Telescope at La Silla by a team of German astronomers reveal a rich circular cluster of stars in the inner parts of our Galaxy. Located 30,000 light-years away, this previously unknown closely-packed group of about 100,000 stars is most likely a new globular cluster. Star clusters provide us with unique laboratory conditions to investigate various aspects of astrophysics. They represent groups of stars with similar...

Latest Omega Centauri Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Centaurus Constellation -- Centaurus (the centaur) was one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy, and counts also among the 88 modern constellations. A constellation of the southern hemisphere, mentioned by Eudoxus (4th century B.C.) and Aratus (3rd century B.C.), Ptolemy catalogued thirty-seven stars in it. It contains Proxima Centauri, the red dwarf that is the nearest known star (other than the Sun) to Earth, as well as Alpha Centauri, which is a double star to which Proxima...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Star Cluster -- Star clusters are physically bound systems of stars. In order of low compactness to high compactness (and in some sense also age) they range from stellar associations to open clusters to globular clusters. Star clusters are held together by the gravitation of their members. Due to both external (encounters with massive objects, influence of the host galaxy) and internal (encounters with other cluster members, stellar evolution) influences, clusters slowly evaporate. Their...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Globular Cluster -- A globular cluster is a cluster of stars that is spherical in shape and extremely dense towards its core. Globular clusters are usually composed of hundreds of thousands of old stars, similar to the bulge of a spiral galaxy but confined to a volume of only a few cubic parsecs. Some globular clusters (like Omega Centauri in our Milky Way, and G1 in M31) are truly massive clusters, with several million times the mass of our Sun. Such globular clusters may be the...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Omega Centauri -- Discovered by Edmond Halley in 1677. About 10 million stars orbit the center of this globular cluster - named Omega Centauri - as this giant globular cluster orbits our Galactic center. Recent evidence indicates that Omega Centauri is by far the most massive of the about 150 known globular clusters in the Milky Way. Omega Centauri, cataloged as NGC 5139, spans about 150 light years across, lies about 15,000 light years away, and can be seen without visual aid...

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