What is Messier 92?

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What is Messier 92? Blog Image


Astronomers have recently released an image of the globular cluster Messier 92 (M92) captured by the James Webb Space Telescope.

About Messier 92:

  • It is a bright and large globular cluster in the constellation of Hercules.
  • It is located at a distance of 26,700 light-years from Earth. 
  • It was first discovered by the German astronomer Johann Elert Bode in 1777.
  • The predominant elements within Messier 92 are hydrogen and helium.
  • Messier 92 has an estimated mass of up to 330,000 solar masses.
  • The cluster is approaching the Milky Way galaxy at a speed of about 112 km/s (403,200 km/h; 250,500 mph).

 What is a Globular Cluster?

  • Globular clusters are spherical aggregates of several thousand to millions of stars bound by gravity.
  • They orbit mostly in the extended stellar halos surrounding most spiral galaxies.
  • They contain some of the oldest stars in a galaxy.
  • These systems are thought to have formed early on in the Universe and can serve as perfect astrophysical laboratories for astronomers to understand how stars evolve through various phases.

What is Solar Mass?

It is the mass of the sun, which is 1.989 x 10^30 kilograms — about 333,000 Earths.



Q1) What is a Stellar halo?

A stellar halo is an essentially spherical population of stars and globular clusters thought to surround most disk galaxies and the cD class of elliptical galaxies. Only about 1% of a galaxy’s stellar mass resides in its halo, and due to this low luminosity, the observation of halos in other galaxies is extremely difficult. 

Source: James Webb Space Telescope observes globular star cluster Messier 92