Saturday, December 1, 2012

Answer to Question 141

A141: A globular cluster is a spherical collection of stars that orbits a galactic core as a satellite. Globular clusters are very tightly bound by gravity, which gives them their spherical shapes and relatively high stellar densities toward their centers. The name of this category of star cluster is derived from the Latin globulus—a small sphere. A globular cluster is sometimes known more simply as a globular.
Globular clusters, which are found in the halo of a galaxy, contain considerably more stars and are much older than the less dense galactic, or open clusters, which are found in the disk. Globular clusters are fairly common; there are about 150 to 158 currently known globular clusters in the Milky Way, with perhaps 10 to 20 more still undiscovered Large galaxies can have more:Andromeda, for instance, may have as many as 500. Some giant elliptical galaxies, particularly those at the centers of galaxy clusters, such as M87,have as many as 13,000 globular clusters. These globular clusters orbit the galaxy out to large radii, 40 kiloparsecs (approximately 131,000 light-years) or more.

Source: Wikipedia

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