The Great Cluster in Hercules

  • Carl Crum ’24

If you thought the Messier 3 globular cluster was impressive, then say hello to the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules! Although this stellar assembly has fewer stars than Messier 3, it is considered one of the most beautiful deep-sky objects in the northern hemisphere. The two giant stars around the Great Cluster are Eta and Zeta Herculis, and in the top-right corner of the image is NGC 6207, a distant spiral galaxy 30 million light years away. Due to the cluster’s immense age (over 11 billion years old), its stars only contain 5% of the iron our own Sun contains because they formed before metals existed in our galaxy!

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