Thursday, January 11, 2007

Most Distant Star Clusters

Harvey Richer (UBC) and his former student, Jason Kalirai, have discovered the most distant star clusters even seen. This serendipitous discovery was made from very deep images taken with the Hubble Space telescope. The data was taken to study the very faint stars in a globular cluster NGC 6397 in the Milky Way.

A close examination showed a very distant elliptical galaxy surrounded by globular clusters. In order to determine the distance to the galaxy a spectrum was obtained with the Gemini South telescope. This spectrum showed that the globular clusters are the most distant ever studied.


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