Globular clusters. I’m not a big fan. I mean astrophotography wise. I know many people who just love them, but to me, they’re just a bunch of stars in a ball. There are plenty of them to look at in the night sky, about 150 circle the Milky way. They just seem kind of boring to me.
Evidently, I am wrong. A few days ago the European Space Organization (ESO) used there observatories in Chile, to re-image M4. M4 is one of the closest and oldest globulars that we know of currently.
Apparently, M4 has been hiding secrets from us. New spectrographical images of the stars in M4 reveal that the stars have a lot of heavier elements. This isn’t the surprising part. What was surprising is that one of the stars was found to have much more lithium, a light element, than expected.
location of M4 in the sky
At a general meeting of the Riverside Astronomical Society (I’m the V.P. of the club) we had a professor from UC Riverside talk about lithium and how most of it was destroyed after the Big Bang due to UV radiation. So this discovery of such a large amount of lithium where there isn’t supposed to be any, is probably driving him nuts right about now. Aaaahhh, the wonders of science. Just when you think you’ve seen it all…the universe slaps you upside the head.
Astronomy pictures courtesy of NASA/ESO, virtual slap-unknown, but funny.
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– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +