At a distance 15,600 light years, Omega Centauri is one of the nearest globular clusters to the Solar System. Its photographic size is 65′, implying a diameter over 300 light years. As in all globular clusters, the stellar density increases rapidly toward the interior. The average distance between stars at its center is only about 0.1 light years.
Containing several million stars, and roughly 5 million solar masses, Omega Centauri is about 10 times as massive as a typical big globular, and about as massive as the smallest of whole galaxies. It is the brightest and most massive globular orbiting the Milky Way.
Omega Centauri is so different from the MIlky Way’s other globulars that it is thought to have a different origin. It is about 12 billion years old, but the stars of Omega Centauri formed over a 2-billion-year period rather than all at once. It is speculated that Omega Centauri is the remaining core of a small galaxy that merged with the Milky Way long ago.
- Canon 7D
- Celestron 9.25 CPC – Prime Focus
- ISO 3200
- Exp 20s