This huge ball of stars predates our Sun.
Long before humankind evolved, before
and even before our Earth existed, ancient globs of
stars condensed and orbited a young
Milky Way Galaxy.
200 or so
globular clusters that survive today,
Omega Centauri is the largest, containing over ten million stars.
is also the
brightest globular cluster, at
visual magnitude 3.9 it is visible to
southern observers with the unaided eye.
Cataloged as NGC 5139,
Omega Centauri is about 18,000
light-years away and 150 light-years in diameter.
Unlike many other
the stars in
show several different ages and trace chemical abundances,
indicating that the globular
has a complex history over its 12 billion year age.
Credit & Copyright:
Joaquin Polleri & Ezequiel Etcheverry (Observatorio Panameño en San Pedro de Atacama)