A snapshot of Abell 1689's globular clusters
Peering deep into the heart of the massive galaxy cluster Abell 1689, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope recently spied some 10 000 globular clusters. From this, the astronomers estimate that this galaxy cluster could possibly contain over 160 000 globulars overall, the largest population ever found. By comparison, our galaxy, the Milky Way, hosts about 150 such clusters.
Globular clusters are dense collections of hundreds of thousands of stars – some of the oldest surviving stars in the Universe.
This view zooms into the region of this cluster that has been found to be packed with globular clusters. They appear as thousands of tiny white dots, like a blizzard of snowflakes. The larger white blobs are entire galaxies full of stars.