October 23, 2021

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Hubble telescope spies brilliant star cluster in Milky Way’s neighbor galaxy

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Just outside the Milky Way, about 210,000 light-years from the Earth, lies the Small Magellanic Cloud. While it may seem a humble shadow of the Milky Way, it’s a galaxy in its own right andfascinates astronomers since it’s a hotbed of star formation.  

Now, the Hubble Space Telescope has peered deep into the heart of the SmallMagellanic Cloud to reveal the bright star cluster NGC 346 at its core. NGC 346 isa dynamic place where hot new stars push and pull at the gas and dust that surround them, so it’s filled with clumps of young blue stars, dominating Hubble’s view in the new image, which NASA released Monday (Aug. 30).

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