In spite of the fact that Hubble hasn’t undergone any maintenance since 2009 and has been in space for many years, the most recent image it has produced is a breathtaking reminder of just how amazing this telescope is. The image, which clearly sparkles, focuses on the center of the globular star cluster NGC 6540. 17,000 light-years away from Earth, this densely clustered collection of stars is shown to us in exquisite detail by Hubble’s acute eye.
These globular clusters are particularly helpful to astronomers since they contain tens of thousands to a million stars. Since they frequently develop in groups, it is simpler to determine their age. Astronomers can learn more about the globular clusters that encircle the Milky Way’s center and the very early evolution of our galaxy by examining NGC 6540 in particular.
It is a beautiful phenomenon of light diffraction around the telescope’s structure that some of the brightest stars in the system appear to be sparkling. This effect is also produced by JWST, however six significant spikes are visible in those photographs due to its hexagonal structure.
This serves as a timely reminder that Hubble is currently producing amazing scientific research. Hubble laid the foundation for JWST, and we are grateful for that.