NGC 6441: One of the Milky Way’s Most Massive Star Clusters

Hubble image of the globular cluster NGC 6441. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, G. Piotto

(NASA’s image of the day on June 5, 2020)

Almost like snowflakes, the stars of the globular cluster NGC 6441 sparkle peacefully in the night sky, about 13,000 light-years from the Milky Way’s galactic center. Like snowflakes, the exact number of stars in such a cluster is difficult to discern. It is estimated that together the stars have 1.6 million times the mass of the Sun, making NGC 6441 one of the most massive and luminous globular clusters in the Milky Way.

There are about 150 known globular clusters in the Milky Way. Globular clusters contain some of the first stars to be produced in a galaxy, but the details of their origins and evolution still elude astronomers.

Source/read more: Hubble Catches Cosmic Snowflakes