Globular clusters, the sparkling, dense spider webs of the universe, are still being researched for their various colors, shapes, sizes, and gravitational dynamics by astronomers! Omega Centauri is a prime example – or rather the KING- of globular clusters with over 10 million stars! Let’s take a look at the Top Four Facts about this incredible globular cluster:
1- This cluster is among the largest globular clusters that reside within the Milky Way Galaxy, with a diameter of about 150 light years!
2-While the majority of the cluster is the color white, these stars vary in coloration as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope, with lots of big reddish stars. These are estimated to be between 10-12 billion years old!
3-The other stars, nicknamed the “blue stragglers,” are actually older stars that have collided and merged with other stars!
4- The current theories about the shear size and existence of this globular cluster is that this cluster may have once been a dwarf satellite galaxy that the Milky Way Galaxy has essentially overtaken.
How to observe Omega Centauri:
It’s visible from the southern half of the United States, or south of 40 degrees north latitude (the latitude of Denver, Colorado). While it is much more visible in the Southern Hemisphere, it can be seen in the Northern Hemisphere at certain times of the year. It’s best seen in the evening sky from the Northern Hemisphere on late April, May and June evenings.