Globular Cluster

A globular cluster is a spherical collection of stars. Globular clusters are very tightly bound by gravity, with a high concentration of stars towards their centers. Their name is derived from Latin globulus—a small sphere. Globular clusters are occasionally known simply as globulars. Although one globular cluster, Omega Centauri, was observed in antiquity and long thought to be a star, recognition of the clusters' true nature came with the advent of telescopes in the 17th century. In early telescopic observations, globular clusters appeared as fuzzy blobs, leading French astronomer Charles Messier to include many of them in his catalog of astronomical objects that he thought could be mistaken for comets. Using larger telescopes, 18th-century astronomers recognized that globular clusters are groups of many individual stars. Early in the 20th century, the distribution of globular clusters in the sky was some of the first evidence that the Sun is far from the center of the Milky Way.

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