It's Full of Stars! Globular Cluster Sparkles in Cosmic Photo
Adam Block took this image of globular star cluster Messier 5 at Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, University of Arizona in March, 2012. Block used a SBIG STX CCD Camera, 32-inch Schulman Telescope (RC Optical Systems) and AstroDon Gen II filters.
Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona www.caelumobservatory.com

The cluster of roughly 100,000 stars known as Messier 5 glows in this brilliant night sky photo.  

This stunning image was taken by Adam Block at Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, University of Arizona in March, 2012. He used a SBIG STX CCD Camera, 32-inch Schulman Telescope (RC Optical Systems) and AstroDon Gen II filters.

Messier 5, also known as M5, rests approximately 25,000 light-years away from Earth. Gravity pulls together the more than an estimated 100,000 stars  that make M5, forming a diameter of approximately 165 light-years. A light-year is the distance that light can travel in a year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).

The globular cluster is one of the oldest in the galaxy estimated to have stars nearly 13 billion years old. Ancient red and blue giants stars glow brightly in the dense core of the nebula.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com.

 

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