Hubble telescope peers deep into Milky Way galaxy, captures starfield

We Earthlings live in a solar system located on one of the great spiral arms within the Milky Way galaxy.
The legendary Hubble Space Telescope, orbiting Earth, peered inward and captured a vivid image of stars near the center of the Milky Way, a galaxy that's some 100,000 light-years across (or about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilometers). NASA published the image online Friday.

What are we able to see? A "sparkling starfield," writes NASA.

This dense group of stars is known as a "globular constellation," and it's ESO 520-21, located near the center. According to the European Space Agency, a globular cluster refers to a densely packed and roughly spherical group of stars.

NASA refers to them as "snow-globe-shaped, islands made of several hundred thousand old stars."

A "sparkling starfield." Credit: ESA / HUBBLE / NASA / R. COHEN

Star clusters are common throughout the universe. Because they're so bright, astronomers often observe and study them.

There are approximately 150 globular clusters within the Milky Way. NASA had found over 22,000 globular Clusters in the universe as of 2018.