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Globular star cluster M4

Globular star cluster M4

R614/0252

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Credit

JERRY LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JERRY LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Globular star cluster M4 (centre right). This star cluster (also called NGC 6121) is found in the constellation of Scorpius. It is thought to be the closest of the globular star clusters, being about 7200 light years distant. Globular star clusters contain many thousands of stars, and were formed billions of years ago in the early history of the galaxy. M4 contains hundreds of thousands of stars in a volume only 75 light years across, but it is still one of the less compact of the globular clusters. It has been studied extensively, and a planet has been discovered there.

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