Detail View: NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection: Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae

Title: 
Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae
Explanation: 
Stars come in bunches. Of the over 200 globular star clusters [ http://ast.leeds.ac.uk/research/gcs.html ] that orbit the center of our Milky Way Galaxy [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap970517.html ], 47 Tucanae is the second brightest globular cluster [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/lib/globular_clusters.html ] (behind Omega Centauri [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap961004.html ]). Known to some affectionately as 47 Tuc [ http://crux.astr.ua.edu/gifimages/47tuc.html ] or NGC 104, it is only visible from the Southern Hemisphere [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap950926.html ]. Light takes about 20,000 years to reach us from 47 Tuc which can be seen near the SMC [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap970719.html ] in the constellation of Tucana [ http://astro.gmu.edu/constellation/TUC.html ]. Red Giant stars [ http://plabpc.csustan.edu/astro/stars/giant.htm ] are particularly easy to see in the above photograph [ http://crux.astr.ua.edu/gifimages/47tuc.html ]. The dynamics of stars near the center of 47 Tuc [ http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1996ApJ%2E%2E%2E471%2E%2E804S&db_key=AST&nosetcookie=1 ] are not well understood, particularly why there are so few binary systems [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap970219.html ] there.
Credit and Copyright: 
W. Keel (U. Alabama in Tuscaloosa) et al., 1.54-m Telescope [ http://epu.ls.eso.org/lasilla/Telescopes/2p2T/D1p5M/D1p5M.html ], Chile [ http://www.ls.eso.org/ ]
facet_where: 
Alabama
facet_what: 
Crux
original url: 
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap970919.html
UID: 
SPD-APOD-ap970919