A family of globular clusters appears as glittering spots dusted around the galaxy halo. Astronomers study the globular clusters in NGC 7049 to learn more about its formation and evolution. The dust lanes, which appear as a lacy web, are dramatically backlit by the millions of stars in the halo of NGC 7049.
Credit: NASA, ESA and W. Harris (McMaster University, Ontario, Canada)
A torrent of radiation from the hot stars in the cluster NGC 346, at the centre of this Hubble image, eats into denser areas around it, creating a fantasy sculpture of dust and gas. The dark, intricately beaded edge of the ridge, seen in silhouette, is particularly dramatic. It contains several small dust globules that point back towards the central cluster, like windsocks caught in a gale.
Credit: NASA, ESA and A. Nota (ESA/STScI, STScI/AURA)
This image shows the star cluster RCW 38, as captured by the HAWK-I infrared imager mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. By gazing into infrared wavelengths, HAWK-I can examine dust-shrouded star clusters like RCW 38, providing an unparalleled view of the stars forming within. This cluster contains hundreds of young, hot, massive stars, and lies some 5500 light-years away in the constellation of Vela (The Sails).
Credit: ESO/K. Muzic
Moon near Aldebaran & Venus
by Peter Lademann
Star trails over La Silla
Credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi/ C.Madsen
The colourful star cluster NGC 3532
Credit: ESO/G. Beccari
The Tarantula Nebula (top center) is the largest, most active and most complex stellar nursery in our galactic neighborhood. It lies in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy that orbits our own Milky Way about 163,000 light-years away. This image shows the Tarantula Nebula and its surroundings in a visible light image spanning one degree. The view is a mosaic captured with the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-m telescope at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile.
Credit: ESO/R. Fosbury (ST-ECF)
Like the gaping mouth of a gigantic celestial creature, the cometary globule CG4 glows menacingly in this image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Although it looks huge and bright in this image it is actually a faint nebula and not easy to observe. The exact nature of CG4 remains a mystery.
Urania’s Mirror; or, a view of the Heavens is a set of 32 astronomical star chart cards, first published in November 1824. They had illustrations based on Alexander Jamieson’s A Celestial Atlas, but the addition of holes punched in them allowed them to be held up to a light to see a depiction of the constellation’s stars. They were engraved by Sidney Hall, and were said to be designed by “a lady”, but have since been identified as the work of the Reverend Richard Rouse Bloxam, an assistant master at Rugby School.
The cover of the box-set showed a depiction of Urania, the muse of astronomy, and came with a book entitled A Familiar Treatise on Astronomy… written as an accompaniment. Peter Hingley, the researcher who solved the mystery of who designed the cards a hundred and seventy years after their publication, considered them amongst the most attractive star chart cards of the many produced in the early 19th century.