Like a whirl of shiny flakes sparkling in a snow globe, Hubble caught this glimpse of many hundreds of thousands of stars moving about in the globular cluster M13, one of the brightest and best-known globular clusters in the northern sky. Easily found in the winter sky in the constellation Hercules and can even be glimpsed with the unaided eye under dark skies. M13 is home to over 100,000 stars and located at a distance of 25,000 light-years. These stars are packed so closely together in a ball, approximately 150 light-years across, that they will spend their entire lives whirling around in the cluster. Globular clusters can be found spread largely in a vast halo around our galaxy. M13 is one of nearly 150 known globular clusters surrounding our Milky Way galaxy. This image is a composite of archival Hubble data taken with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 and the Advanced Camera for Surveys.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Acknowledgment: C. Bailyn (Yale University), W. Lewin (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), A. Sarajedini (University of Florida), and W. van Altena (Yale University)