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M4, Messier 4, NGC 6121
Description: Globular Cluster
Position: RA 16h 23m 35.22s Dec -26 31' 32.7"
Distance: 7000 light years
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Release Date: September 3, 2012
ESO wide view: S1235
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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:
This sparkling picture taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the center of globular cluster M 4. The power of Hubble has resolved the cluster into a multitude of glowing orbs, each a colossal nuclear furnace.
4 is relatively close to us, lying 7200 light-years distant, making it
a prime object for study. It contains several tens of thousand stars and
is noteworthy in being home to many white dwarfs - the cores of ancient,
dying stars whose outer layers have drifted away into space.
Amateur stargazers may like to track M 4 down in the night sky. Use binoculars or a small telescope to scan the skies near the orange-red star Antares in Scorpius. M 4 is bright for a globular cluster, but it won't look anything like Hubble's detailed image: it will appear as a fuzzy ball of light in your eyepiece.