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Business News/ Science / News/  NASA's Webb Telescope releases image of NGC 6440, a globular cluster in the heart of milky way
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NASA's Webb Telescope releases image of NGC 6440, a globular cluster in the heart of milky way

NASA's Webb Telescope reveals stunning glimpse into the dense central region of the Milky Way, capturing image of NGC 6440, a globular cluster 28,000 light years away.

NASA releases stunning pictures of star clusters in the dense central area of our Milky Way. (File Image: AFP)Premium
NASA releases stunning pictures of star clusters in the dense central area of our Milky Way. (File Image: AFP)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s Webb Telescope has released stunning glimpse into the dense central region of the Milky Way. The Webb has unveiled picture of NGC 6440, globular cluster orbiting within the Galactic bulge, approximately 28,000 light years away. 

The James Webb Space Telescope, launched on December 25, 2021, orbits the Sun from a distance of 1.5 million kilometers (1 million miles) away from Earth, positioned at what is known as the second Lagrange point or L2. According to NASA, the Webb telescope observes every phase in the history of our Universe, from its initial luminous glows to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets, as well as the evolution of our own Solar System.

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NASA said that Before Webb, it was difficult to observe star clusters located in the dense central region of the Milky Way, however, on May 2 the has provided a clear view of NGC 6440.

What is NGC 6440?

NGC 6440 is a globular cluster orbiting within the Galactic bulge, approximately 28,000 light years away. Globular clusters consist mainly of older stars, ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions, tightly bound together by gravity. It is in the constellation Sagittarius, the archer. NASA also added that the globular clusters like NGC 6440 are approximately spherical, densely packed collections of stars which are found on the outskirts of galaxies.

In the image released by NASA Webb, it shows “a spherical collection of stars. The cluster dominated by a concentrated group of bright white stars at the center, with several large yellow stars scattered throughout the image. Many of the stars have visible diffraction spikes and the background is black."

Meanwhile, in another news, NASA said that earth received a laser transmission from "deep space". The transmission which originated from a record-breaking 140 million miles away, came from NASA's 2023 spacecraft "Psyche". In October last year, the US space agency had launched a space mission to send a spacecraft towards the asteroid 'Psyche 16'. 'Psyche 16' is believed to be primarily composed of metal, a rarity in the solar system. It is said to be located in the asteroid belt between the planets Mars and Jupiter. According to Meera Srinivasan, the project’s operations lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, in a statement said, “This represents a significant milestone for the project by showing how optical communications can interface with a spacecraft’s radio frequency comms system." 

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Published: 03 May 2024, 10:25 AM IST
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