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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
The globular cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules
Click on image for full size
the Space Telescope Science Institute and NASA

Globular Clusters

If you think that this globular cluster looks like a very round elliptical galaxy, you would be right! Elliptical galaxies and globular clusters have a lot in common. There is no gas or dust in a globular cluster, and the stars are old. In fact, some evidence suggests that globular clusters were the first objects to form.

The big difference is size! Globular clusters contain hundreds of thousands or millions of stars. Elliptical galaxies can contain hundreds of billions of stars! And while elliptical galaxies are sometimes round, globular clusters are never elliptical.

Globular clusters are found both in spiral galaxies and elliptical galaxies. The Milky Way, for example, has over one hundred globular clusters throughout it's halo.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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