April 2009 — Jewel of the southern hemisphere

ESO’s Wide Field Imager camera captured this truly stunning image of the famous globular cluster Omega Centauri, located around 17 000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus. Omega Centauri is one of the finest jewels of the southern hemisphere night sky. Sparkling away at a magnitude of 3.7, it is visible to the naked eye from a clear, dark observing site. Globular clusters are some of the oldest gatherings of stars that are found in a halo around galaxies such as our own Milky Way. Omega Centauri itself is thought to be around 12 billion years old.

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