Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers was recently able to image an extremely large star cluster located at the center of the Milky Way. Called Messier 9, the object is located some 25,000 light-years away from Earth, and contains more than 250,000 stars.
It was first discovered in 1764 by famed French astronomer Charles Messier, but the limited observation means at the time did not enable him to make out more than a smudge in the night sky.
The new image, released on March 16, is the most detailed ever collected of this impressive cluster. The red stars in the image are the oldest, whereas the blue ones are fairly new, having formed only a few million years ago, Space
Messier 9, also known as NGC 6333, is one of the closest globular star clusters to the supermassive black hole at the core of our galaxy. The two are separated by only 5,500 light-years. The Milky Way is about 120,000 light-years across.