Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Twinkle, twinkle many stars…

This sparkling new #StarrySights Hubble image features NGC 2660, an open star cluster located in the constellation Vela. Unlike in globular clusters, the individual stars of an open cluster can be distinguished, as seen clearly in this view.

The spikes surrounding the stars in this image are called “diffraction spikes” and result from bright points of light reflecting off of Hubble’s secondary mirror support.

 Several stars with pointed diffraction spikes gleam in shades of white, orange, and blue against a black backdrop of space.


Image credits: NASA, ESA and T. von Hippel (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University); Processing: Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America) 

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