Hubble focuses on star cluster Messier 9 (photo)

The Hubble Space Telescope has produced the most detailed image yet of Messier 9, a globular cluster of more than 250,000 stars located close to the center of the galaxy.

Globular clusters of stars such as Messier 9, seen here in a recent image from the Hubble Space Telescope, are twice as old as our Sun, and are made up of stars that are among the oldest in our galaxy.

About 8 Billion years old, the more than 250,000 stars of Messier 9 are enriched with far fewer heavier elements than the Sun. Elements crucial to life on Earth, like oxygen and carbon, and the iron at Earth's core are rare in Messier 9.

Spotted with color, this image shows the wide range of temperatures in the stars of Messier 9, with redder stars being cooler, and bluer stars hotter.
More than 25,000 light-years from Earth is Messier 9, a cluster of 250,000 stars. NASA and ESA
About the author

James Martin is the staff photographer at CNET News, covering the geeks and gadgets of Silicon Valley. When he's not live-blogging the latest product launches from Apple, Google, or Facebook, James can be found exploring NASA, probing robotics labs, and getting behind-the-scenes with some of the Bay Area's most innovative thinkers.


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