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The Largest of Its Kind
Messier 2, NGC 7089
Globular Star Cluster
RA 21h 33m 27.20s Dec 0° 49' 21.79"
55,000 light years
2.43 x 2.44 arcminutes
North is 12.8° right of vertical
ESA/Hubble & NASA, G. Piotto et al.
April 1, 2019
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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:
Messier 2 is located in the constellation of Aquarius (The Water-Bearer), about 55,000 light-years away. It is a globular cluster, a spherical group of stars all tightly bound together by gravity. With a diameter of roughly 175 light-years, a population of 150 000 stars, and an age of 13 billion years, Messier 2 is one of the largest clusters of its kind and one of the oldest associated with the Milky Way.
This Hubble image of Messier 2s core was created using visible and infrared light. Most of the clusters mass is concentrated at its center, with shimmering streams of stars extending outwards into space. It is bright enough that it can even be seen with the naked eye when observing conditions are extremely good.