- Globular star cluster Omega Centauri
is some 15,000 light-years away and 150 light-years in diameter.
Buy this high resolution photo of Omega Centauri from the Spitzer Space Telescope Archives.
Packed with about 10 million stars, Omega
is the largest of 200 or so known globular clusters that roam the halo
of our Milky Way galaxy.
This intriguing color picture combines a visible light image of the cluster in blue hues with infrared
image data from the Spitzer
Space Telescope. The Spitzer data includes
images in two infrared bands, one shown in green and one in red. Both infrared bands are sensitive to light from the cool, giant stars in the cluster.
the red and green colors together
creates yellow, showing off the cluster's giant stars as yellow spots.. Of course, red spots also indicate cool, giant stars in the image, but some of the red spots are even more distant background galaxies.
Also known simply as Red Giant
Stars, they represent a stage in the
of stars more evolved than our own Sun, a stage
the Sun will reach
in about 5 billion years.
Dust grains formed in the atmospheres of cool, giant stars are ultimately involved in the formation of other stars