Messier 30

Hubble observations helped identify two types of "blue stragglers" in Messier 30.

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Distance

28,000 light-years

Apparent Magnitude

7.7

constellation

Capricornus

object type

Globular Cluster

M30 as observed by Hubble
NASA/ESA

This Hubble image of M30 is composed of exposures taken in visible and infrared light. It captures the cluster’s several hundred thousand stars in stunning detail.

Although globular clusters such as M30 are mainly populated by old stars, the density of the stellar swarm leads to some old stars apparently reclaiming their youth as “blue stragglers.” Using observations from Hubble, astronomers have identified two types of blue stragglers in M30: those that form in near head-on collisions between two stars and those that are in binary systems where one star siphons hydrogen from its companion.

M30 was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. It is located roughly 28,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Capricornus. It has an apparent magnitude of 7.7 and can be seen through a pair of binoculars. M30 is best observed during September.

For more information about Hubble’s observations of M30, see:

locator star chart for M30
This star chart for M30 represents the view from mid-northern latitudes for the given month and time.
Image courtesy of Stellarium

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