Hubble has captured an impressive star cluster. It may be the key to an ancient astronomical mystery
The Hubble Space Telescope is pleasing with new discoveries. This time it’s a photo of a globular cluster formed by stars in the cosmic abyss. The image is valuable not only for its appearance. The star cluster called Ruprecht 106 has an atypical composition that still remains a mystery to scientists.
Despite the fact that the main stars of such clusters are born at about the same time and in the same place, some of them have a very different, unique chemical composition. Astronomers believe that these variations are characteristic of younger stars, which are formed from gas contaminated with the material used by first-generation stars.
However, rare clusters, such as Ruprecht 106, do not have these varieties. The cluster photographed by Hubble is very homogeneous. It never formed second or third generation stars. The scientists hope that further research will help them find out why this happened.
Ruprecht 106 is located in the Milky Way galaxy in the constellation Centaurus, about 69,100 light-years from Earth. It was discovered by the Czech astronomer Jaroslav Ruprecht in 1961. A new image of the star cluster was obtained with the help of several exposures made in the visible and near-infrared regions of the spectrum.