(Yemen Voice: Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper)
A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope has shown a “sea” of stars near the center of the Milky Way, an ancient globular star cluster, RT reports. Scientists say that the stars in this image are about 12 billion years old – which makes them among the oldest stars in the universe. The huge star cluster, which is known as a globular star cluster or a closed star cluster, is called Pismis 26. This name was given to the astronomer Paris Pismis, who discovered star clusters at the Tonantzintla Observatory in Mexico more than 60 years ago. The stars in Pismis 26 have a nearly spherical structure. The cluster appears to contain mostly red stars, with a few bright blue stars along the edges. These colors are partly due to the cluster’s estimated age of 12 billion years, which means it contains many of the oldest stars in our galaxy, if not the universe. These red stars are likely much older than the bright blue stars that are typical of large, young, fast-burning stars that die early, or the yellow star that straddles the dividing line between the two. The cluster is also highly metallic, which means that its stars contain higher levels of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium than stars such as the sun. In particular, scientists believe that these stars are rich in nitrogen, which also indicates that the globular cluster star population spans a range of ages, according to a NASA statement. In addition, part of the cluster’s coloration comes from a phenomenon known as blushing, which is the result of dense stardust blocking short-wavelength blue light while letting longer-wavelength red light through more easily. Pismis 26 is located near the galactic bulge that surrounds Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way. This part of the galaxy is particularly heavy in dust, thanks to the presence of the black hole and its incredible gravity, in addition to all the material surrounding it in the bulge and the dense field of stars it contains.
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