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Published on Dec 23, 2009
Zooming into Messier 30, which formed 13 billion years ago and was discovered in 1764 by Charles Messier. Located about 28 000 light-years away from Earth, this globular cluster — a swarm of several hundred thousand stars — is about 90 light-years across.
Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have uncovered two distinct kinds of "rejuvenated" stars in the globular cluster Messier 30. A new study shows that both stellar collisions and a process sometimes called vampirism are behind this cosmic "face lift". The scientists also uncover evidence that both sorts of blue stragglers were produced during a critical dynamical event (known as "core collapse") that occurred in Messier 30 a few billion years ago.
Credit: Akira Fujii, Digitized Sky Survey 2, Bill Patterson and ESA/Hubble